30 March 2011

embracing labels

Nobody likes to be labeled.

Let me re-phrase - no one likes negative labels. And for good reason.

But there are some labels that I’m happy to embrace. Artist is one of them.

I decided that I was going to attach two more labels to myself while I was at it - fiber and assemblage.

I decided that this year I was going to be more focused in the kinds of art I make. There are still some things that I wander off into - knitting, crocheting, art journaling.

But I want to build a portfolio and I’ve wondered for a long time if I've had trouble doing it because I’m too scattered.

When I first started making fiber art, I attached 3D objects to it - sort of like making a hybrid between an art quilt and an assemblage. I loved the fabric and the stitching and I loved having an excuse to hoard an odd assortment of found objects.

But when I fell in love with surface design, I started making faces at the 3D objects. They just didn’t seem to belong anymore. They covered up the fabric and detracted from the pattern that came from the thermofax screen printing or the soy wax batik or the stamping.

I started leaving it off and found a new way of working in fiber.

Every time I moved through my studio I’d see my neat little pile of odd objects - the bottle caps, the doll heads, the wishbones. I still loved them. I still wanted to use them. And I decided that it was time to put them to work.

I’ve done assemblages for several years but they were always just-for-fun side projects. I’ve been working to bring them more into my mainstream art making, giving them serious consideration and wondering just how far I can push them.
It feels like there is a balance now. Like there is a more focused purpose when I step into the studio and set about working.

Its a particular kind of clarity that I never really thought I would feel, I always rebelled against labels, thought they were too limiting and would hurt the creative process. But I’ve realized that’s only true if I let it be, so I’m going to continue to push forward with the work and see where the focus of these labels will take me.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I'm intriqued and want to see them. I have been going back to things I've done years ago. This time we have a different approach, so it's all new.