My weaving practice is focused on weaving pictorial tapestries. I am developing two series for a solo exhibit in early 2018. Book of Hours is inspired by my study of illuminated manuscripts and medieval books of hours. I am intrigued by the composition of these works, the densely patterned text and decoration set off by differently patterned--or empty--margins. There is a sense of important, sacred meanings that are just outside our comprehension. I am translating these ideas to a contemporary graphic sensibility, often basing my weavings on preliminary collages.
The other series is entitled My Real Name is Mary. This series is inspired by a sixth-century encaustic icon of the Virgin Mary found in Santa Francesca Romana church in Rome. I am investigating the impact of Mary's mythical purity, goodness, and power on the construction of female identity and on my own sense of myself as a woman whose given name is Mary. I am haunted by the direct gaze of the mysterious woman in the icon who has been revered for centuries as the Mother of God and a model for women everywhere. She is ultimately an enigma. What things did Mary “ponder in her heart?” We will never know with any certainty much about who she really was, but her image remains a powerful icon.
Handwoven tapestry is a slow and painstaking discipline conducive to contemplation. As religious icons invite the prayerful gaze, I hope my icons invite us to slow our voracious consumption of information, arrest our restless gaze, and be still in the presence of an image that speaks.