Monday, November 12, 2018

White Marble

(Above:  White Marble I. 8 1/2" x 10 3/4". $100. Digital image transferred to fabric, dense seed stitched background, trapunto (stuffing from the reverse), and epoxy.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I had just a small amount of my two-part, UV filtering epoxy left.  It wasn't enough for a large piece but I guessed it would be the perfect amount for these four small digital transfers.  It was!  First however, I put each image on a piece of recycled, black industrial felt and densely seed stitched the backgrounds.  After that, I made a slit in the felt and inserted some Polyfill to create a more three-dimensional look to the marble head.  This technique is called trapunto and I really enjoy doing it.

 (Above:  Me beside my work The Spirit Moves at REVOLVE in Asheville during the Photo + Sphere Festival, a festival exploring the environment through photography and photo media.)

I've been using trapunto on digital images transferred to fabric for a couple of years.  This includes a series of six nudes of me posing in graveyards.  Unfortunately, there aren't many places that I can exhibit these works.  They are large and expensive to ship; most quilt opportunities have issues with nudes (especially realistic or provocative ones); and I haven't yet written a good exhibition proposal for them.  Yet, one did manage to get accepted into a contemporary photography exhibition called Picturing Purity, curated by Anna Helgeson.  The show is currently on view at REVOLVE in Asheville.  One of the brief blurb reads: Picturing Purity is a photography/new media exhibition designed to help us rethink misogynistic purity myths within the culture of environmentalism. The seven selected artists present ways we can escape or reshape these myths to move toward a more gender-less, queer and complex relationship with our planet.

(Above:  The Spirit Moves, 63" x 43". Digital image transferred to fabric with free-motion embroidery, trapunto, beads, and epoxy.)

Steve and I went for the opening and some of the Photo + Sphere events happening last Friday night.  This included a most insightful keynote address by Sharon Harper, a Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University and several amazing short films including one documenting the view to the earth from Apollo 8.


(Above:  A short video Steve made of me manipulating dyes, oil, and water on an over-head transparency projector during the Photo + Sphere activities on Friday night.)

Another blurb about Picturing Purity reads: A photography/new media exhibition designed to engage the public in a nuanced conversation about environmentalism with images that call attention to purity myths in our culture and demonstrate new ways of visualizing our relationship to the planet. From the untouched female virgin, to the uninhabited pristine forest; these myths construct an untouchable in tension with a lustful outsider.

The entire evening was wonderful, including the chance to play with dyes, oil, and water on an over-head transparency projector!  But now ... back to the new work using trapunto and epoxy!

(Above:  All four White Marble pieces pinned to foam-centered board._

After stitching and stuffing, I pinned the four pieces to foam-centered board in order to keep each one as flat and square as possible.

(Above:  One of the pieces pinned to foam-centered board.)

Gently, I brushed on a layer of Golden's GAC 400, a fabric stiffener.  Once completely dried, I added a second coat.  This application sealed the surface, eliminating the porous nature inherent in textiles.

(Above:  All four White Marble pieces being tacked to black painted batton frames.)

Once completely dry, I cut away the excess material and tacked the work to four black-painted wooden frames.  The frame was cut from inexpensive strips of batten.  Each one was cut proportionately larger than the textiles.  Using several different styles of upholstery tacks, I hammered them together.  Then came the epoxy pour.  I'm very pleased with these small works and the fact that they were the perfect size for the epoxy I had left.  Of course, I'll be ordering more epoxy soon!

(Above:  White Marble II. 8 1/2" x 10 3/4". $100. Digital image transferred to fabric, dense seed stitched background, trapunto (stuffing from the reverse), and epoxy.

(Above:  White Marble III. 8 1/2" x 10 3/4". $100. Digital image transferred to fabric, dense seed stitched background, trapunto (stuffing from the reverse), and epoxy.)
(Above:  White Marble IV. 10 3/4" x 8 1/2". $100. Digital image transferred to fabric, dense seed stitched background, trapunto (stuffing from the reverse), and epoxy.)

1 comment:

Anand P said...

A very good blog post and thanks for sharing it with the community!

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