New Work Posted: “Whirlwind Thoughts”
Stress is a feeling that most people experience at some point in their lives. It is how we feel when we’re under pressure or things are not going the way we like or the way we expect. Many things trigger stress in our lives and it’s been proven over and over again that stress is not good for our health. But it’s almost impossible to completely avoid some form of stress in our lives.
“Whirlwind Thoughts” is a piece I created that expresses the whirlwind emotions that goes on in a person’s mind when they’re under stress. As a society, we work hard to mask our negative emotions or feelings. This work points out that no matter how stressed a person looks to you, the facial expression pales in comparison to the whirlwind thoughts that actually go on behind the “masks” we wear.
In this project, I set out to express emotion – in particular stressed emotions and whirlwind thoughts – by using stitch. I was thinking of creating expressive art. The kind of work a painter creates with fast and expressive (angry or distressed) brushstrokes.
To achieve this, I dye painted a piece of fabric. I started out with a white piece of cotton fabric. I mixed up some procion dye concentrates, then started to paint in large swirls.
After the dye painting was dried, I noticed that the color turned out a little more muted than I wanted and the brushstrokes weren’t very obvious. Since my intention was to use both brushstrokes and stitch to portray whirlwind thoughts, I decided to re-do my dye painting project.
The second time around, I changed brushes to a smaller one and the combination of large brushstrokes with small brushstrokes worked out great.
Finally, I cut out all collage pieces, assembled them together and stitched. I heavily stitched to create a mirror image on the reverse side of this piece of work. I liked that the image on the back is a shadow of what’s in the front.
That goes to buttress the point that our facial expressions are a reflection of what’s on the inside – but often, not an exact reflection, just a shadow.
I hope you enjoy my new work – “Whirlwind Thoughts” as much as I enjoyed creating it.
Beth Berman says
REALLY well done and I appreciated your explanation of materials and intent!!
Thanks Beth. I find that writing about my work, not only gives me a chance to share with others, but it also helps me understand my own thought processes.
Janis Doucette says
And this is exactly why our textile art should be classified as “fine art.” Great job Clara!
Thanks Janis. I agree, textile artists create fine art.
Cate Boeth says
Holy cow, Clara, this blows me away. And in terms of subject matter, with what has gone on in the last week alone, this captures how many people are feeling about the world right now. I hope this is seen by many. I would urge you to enter it into modern quilt competitions, not just SAQA ones. People are hungry for textile art that takes on the world we are in.
It’s in the New Legacies show right now. But Cate, I’m going to take your advise and look into modern quilt competitions. Another thing for my to do list. 🙂