I have always had a fascination with tools, materials and construction. As a girl I spent many afternoons in my father’s auto mechanic shop. This is where I learned the basics of machines and other “noisy and dangerous” things.
With the aid of my mother and the local 4H club, I learned to sew, and quickly became proficient at designing and sewing my
own clothing, which developed into a multi-decade adventure in clothing design.
My early formal art training was 2-dimensional. A visit to South Africa in my 30’s ignited my love of 3 dimensions in clay under
the tutelage of Frida Rica Canes. I learned the basics of graphic design under the tutelidge of her son, architect Kevin Canes, while living in Southern California.
During my mid-life art school education at Marylhurst University, outside of Portland, OR, I undertook a path of self-discovery in the multifarious relationships between form, texture and content. During this period I acquired a taste for working with mild steel, basic welding practices, and arcane firing methods for clay. The combination of the two substances allow for the structural qualities of steel to combine with the expressive malleability of clay. I graduated with honours and shortly thereafter moved to Vancouver Island, Canada.
My fondness for industrial forms has led me to amass a collection of steel scrap and cast items, old tools, wood patterns from
retired ship and dam building, along with various other locally derived materials and artifacts.
My recent works include a series of women’s and little girl’s dresses, and explorations in home decor and sculpture for the
Evolution of Consciousness -
Life and Artmaking intertwine in a play of ‘hidden and revealed’
The original impetus for making a dress in the unlikely material of steel, was my way of grieving the death of long time
friend and early sewing sister, Kathryn Hoover in 2009. As adolescents we designed and sewed all of our clothing through the 70’s and 80’s. She had been a successful wardrobe consultant to hundreds of women in the San Francisco Bay area for over 20 years when she died, and the only fitting eulogy for her departure was to attempt to create a piece of clothing in the medium I was working in at the time - steel. The first, and what I thought would be the only dress, was elemental, explicitly feminine, and
overtly void of its owner.
Since that time, the essential concept remains – that the clothing reflects the wearer – and the wearer is no longer present, yet is so recently departed that their energy still holds the form of the clothing in place. In this way the wearer is “hidden” and their impermanence is “revealed” in a seemingly permanent material. A dynamic weaving of mortality and immortality.
Clothing, for me, is a loaded topic from many angles, reflecting both the majestic and the fallible qualities of humanity.
Clothing has been used for centuries as a means of personal adornment and creative self-expression. What we wear contains
a subtle yet many-faceted layering of communication, a visual language through design, colour, texture, material.
In humanity’s endless evolution of self-discovery, we have developed styles of clothing for every aspect of our lives; work,
fashion, sport, as defense or protection, as a means of power and projection. Clothing imparts information about the
individual regarding aesthetic understanding, economic standing, gender and sexuality, tastes and preferences or a complete
disregard or ignorance thereof.
The making of a dress for one’s own expression and use, is a labour of love tinged with challenges, that anyone who has ever
sewn in fabric will attest. Such is the creative process.
Having veered away from making my own clothing, this form of “clothing construction” gives me a new and deep satisfaction,
with seemingly endless realms to explore.