EBSQ is featuring Fiber art this month and interviewed me for a spotlight.
Texture has always been my favorite element of art. In my early paper collages, I was always trying to create texture in a piece by tearing and layering the papers. But then I would lock them away behind glass when they were framed for presentation. You couldn’t touch it! I think that is why I shifted to fabric as a medium. It is so much more tactile. The plush of a rich velvet, the scratch of a thick burlap, the slippery touch of silk. Add to that the layers of batting, the design of quilt stitching, the delicacy of vintage lace and the variety of the beads, buttons, baubles. Now the textures are literally so thick, so 3-dimensional they call out to be touched and you can NOT trap them behind glass.
Because fabric lends itself so easily to the 3-dimensional, I have found myself creating dolls and creatures as often as functional objects, like quilts and clothing, in addition to my art pieces. I feel I am still experimenting, trying to get a handle of the many techniques and materials of this medium that I haven’t really grasped the potential of my vision within it. But my latest series of alter shrines for the Beaded Journal Project are beginning to feel like success.
Interestingly, sharing this kind of work online, in a digital format, it contradictory to the tactile nature of the work. However, because of the strength of the camera, and the speed of our modern streaming, I can actually share the work in a level of magnification and detail that you can’t actually witness in the real world. So, as much as I enjoy touching my work and interacting with it on that level, I also love looking at it digitally and seeing the detail that shows in that format.
I still wish you could come over, sit on my couch and have some coffee, and touch my art! Because texture is my favorite element of art. – Cynthia Gaub