Creating a textile puzzle
I consider myself an explorer of the ordinary, an archeologist of the overlooked, insignificant and quirky. The treasures I hunt are the old and worn, discarded and found objects, richly patinated with story. A feather no longer necessary to one bird's flight or a rusty nail, its neck at breaking point from holding its head against old wood and weather for a hundred years or a bit of cloth touched by the hand of another maker.
There are things outside of and around me that capture my attention like nature’s textures, the sound and meanings of words, the color of clay, but the journey is fluid and moves toward inner terrain, following the root to its source, to idea and memory, my stories and half-full life lessons. By doing so, I acknowledge the spectrum of trial and triumph. I honor my scars. My intention is to find balance and express truth in the presence of paradox.
I have been an artist and maker for as long as I can remember with skills derived from a study of painting, photography, culture and handcrafts. I approach each idea as a piece in the puzzle of knowing, adding and editing, bit by bit. I attempt to bring a sense of purpose, order and universal consciousness to my work, though it is often abstract and reliant on my innate connection to certain shapes and symbols. I use words, my materials, instinct and solitude to map a path of migration. I might start with a sketch or spontaneously draw from my collection of vintage textiles, hand dyed and then hand stitched to describe movement, the way we travel, literally across time and place and mystically, emotionally and imaginatively. Identity through memory or conjured narrative are expressed slowly and with conviction through the stitch marks. The surface topography of texture and layers are cryptic notations for the narrative, which evolves with focus on the process and the dialog between the character of my materials and my thoughts.
An integral part of nurturing my practice is working experimentally with paper, paint and natural dyes from plant materials. My sketch journals are a gathering space for ideas, failed and successful experiments and samples, souvenirs of place and memory and words of inspiration. I find even greater connection to a piece by building materials from scratch, often weaving bits of cloth or printing and painting cloth with watercolor, earth ochres and dyes. Binding together small pages into journals, doing meditative drawing and collaging help define my direction.
My work extends outward through exhibits and teaching, completing the creative continuum. Public interaction and feedback are essential to an artist’s continuing growth. Through teaching, I learn so much and encourage others to seek the seed from which authentic creativity blossoms. Bringing meaning to life through our hands is healing and the human spirit is made tangible.
Please visit www.RoxanneLasky.com to view more images of her work, her blog and information about workshops.