“A Crowd of Strangers” has just been announced as a ribbon winner in Houston.
It is in the Large Pictorial category. This is the largest quilt I have ever (and probably will ever!) made; over 80” wide.
RE the subject:
It is a conception of how we go through our daily lives, each in our own bubble, even when surrounded by so many other humans. What a shame. The people shown here originated in 15 different photos that I took of people in my urban setting over the course of a couple years. What struck me was the lack of human interaction portrayed in each of the photos, so it was important to me that even when the people are put all together in one crowd they still remain strangers.
RE: the process:
The people were initially each printed separately in grayscale, so I could move them about on the background fabric until I found the composition I liked. There were many techniques used to color and finish the piece. The people are all raw-edge applique, the ground is woven stripes of fabric, There are layers of tulle or organza over areas to add shading, depth or cohesion. The entire surface is heavily stitched with both hand and machine (table top).
RE: the artistry
While the composition was extremely important to me, as was the depth of field of the image, the lighting was less so. Each of the original photos was taken at a different time of day, and I wanted that feeling of “not quite in the same place at the same time” to remain part of the slight uncomfortablity of the piece. I think it serves to reinforce that each person is in their own time and space even in the same environment.
RE: the details (click on each to enlarge):
To see videos about my interviews, and processes
For about ten years now, I have been a full-time fiber artist. My subjects reflect a poignant moment of time and my reaction to that moment. This work is a combination of photography; “what” I see, and my handwork; “how” I see. My camera records the facts of the moment while the fabric and stitching add the focus, texture, and emotion to the scene.