Once a painter, I turned to soft sculptures for tactility. In hopes to activate more senses, my pieces can be touched and explored. They stem from moments in nature that have moved me. I may try to mimic the colors or gestures in these snapshots. The fibers form and weave a tangible presence to my memories.
These acts of wrapping, threading, and spinning have my hands moving like the women of my ancestry. The women’s work they created came from endless hours of meticulous quilting, knitting, weaving, and embroidering. Stitching circles brought friends, sisters, and neighbors together to combat loneliness and skill-share. These practices are often memory based whether from the significance of the quilt squares to the stories depicted in an embroidered tapestry. As I work I feel woven to this history and storytelling. What do I have to contribute, what should be remembered and honored?
Our natural world captures my attention the most. The time I saw the sun set and full moon rise simultaneously, the first tickle of snow on a bleak winter day, and the mineral hot spring's pungency stay with me far longer than moments I have in modern urban life. In effort to more graciously acknowledge Earth’s brilliance, I have recently been dyeing my yarn with natural pigments. Eucalyptus, mushrooms, onions, and avocados lend their color to me. No longer must I artificially match the values I see but use what the soil has provided. This ancient dyeing process from harvest to finished skein is a ceremony. It is both my prayer and ritual for Mother Earth to her abundance of materials, perspective, knowledge, and turbulence.
Just as I seem to dance between the modern world and the backcountry, my sculptures dance between the past and present; memory based with skills given to me from women’s work to acknowledging the current state of the natural world and elements it has to offer. Through my pieces’ playful attitude, I hope to engage others in the world that so moves me, that provides me with color and freedom. Peery Sloan January 2019