Messages from the Past

Technology as Catalyst

For decades, much of my artwork has been nature-based.  By the 1990’s, my research would begin with fieldwork—with quiet hiking, without recording, sketching, photographing, or collecting—just looking and absorbing the character of the place.  On return visits, I photographed to document the plant life, rocks, and marks made by ancient peoples (petroglyphs). I made notes describing the unique characteristics and evocative impressions of the places.  All of these bits of information were connected in the studio as I made the works.

Before 1997, I used my own photography extensively to inspire the work, but as I began to experiment with digital technology I was able to incorporate the actual photographs directly onto the work by digitally printing my photographs directly onto fabric.  This allowed photographic precision, large scale images, and a greatly expanded range of colors.

This series of work was created for an exhibition entitled “Technology as Catalyst” at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC in 2002.   It represents a shift in my studio practice with my developing ability to use the digital fabric prints as raw materials, combine them with my hand dyed, woven, and stitched fabrics.  In this series, digital tools allowed me to achieve greater detail, more complex images and surfaces, more literal impressions of place, and an enhanced ability to evoke a moment in time.