Red Lock System.
This post really began a year ago when I went to the Bucktown Art Fair in Chicago and met Leah Evans. I lost touch with her but went back to the same show on August 23rd, 2008 in the hopes to see her, and there she was, showcasing her work better than ever.
I usually leave these local art shows quite disapointed but seeing Leah's creations was a true breath of fresh air.
Clearly the best of show, not to mention the smartest most conceptually unique rendition of a traditional media.
It it just so creative, to take what is essentially quilting and turn them into gorgeous road and landscape maps of all kinds.
My quilted wall hangings consist of layers of the following techniques: appliqué, reverse appliqué, piecing, natural and synthetic dyeing, needle-felting, hand printing, and a variety of embroidery stitches. There is an overall balance between hand and machine work.
My current work combines aerial photography, maps, and satellite imagery. I also find myself drawn to the more minute systems of the microbial world. I enjoy the play in scale between magnified microbial life forms and remote sensing images of huge tracts of land. Both scales deal with the translation of scientific information into a visual form. At times these separate bodies of work merge. The overlap is seen in vessel-like arteries of water, tundra pools that look cellular, and microbes that swim through topographic lines.
It is the use of maps in organizing our ideas of land that interests me most of all. Often people ask me for specifics about the places and symbols in my work. Most of my pieces are not consciously based on specific places. For me they are intimate explorations of map language and imagined landscapes. Through my research and experience I have decided that maps create more questions than they answer.
(images courtesy of Leah Evans)
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