Daily life spurs Diane Siebel’s stitch work


We live in strange times when we need to take daily mental breaks from what we read in the newspaper or watch on the news. Diane Siebel’s embroidered wall hangings reflect both the zen of hand-embroidery, but also the mental over-stimulation of what transpires outside of that meditative practice.

As an artist, Siebels finds inspiration by the patterns in every day life: shapes formed by the criss-crossing of bare tree branches, the delicate muscles under the skin, and the cellular architectural structures that support the human, animal, plant forms. Seidels started sewing as a child, making clothes eventually progressing to quilts. In Artistry in Fiber, Vol 1, she explains the complexity of her work where thread became the primary voice in her work with explorations of stitchwork. “My work explores interiority, making structures from imagination, thought, and emotion generated by the entanglements of daily life. The plane that I am working on becomes like an environment, a structure that develops as the piece progress and that begins to take on a life of its own.”

In her Head series, Diane examines the interplay of patterns from nature and the cellular form. The stitching is a combination of hand and machine stitiching on cotton fabric. In 2015, “Head 7” was awarded  Best in Show at the Quilt National. In a short interview, Diane spoke of the inspiration—Edward Snowdon and poetry—Head 7 shows the abundant data we consume on a daily basis would appear inside our heads.

In her U-Construction series, Diane was inspired by texting: “how r u?”, “where r u?” In an email she expalained, “U (you) can be anyone, the other, all of us.  Plus, and importantly, U is a pleasing shape.  And so the series started with #1, you are undergoing a renovation on your house.  Then, U on a cellular level, U as individuals, U as flowers, U morphing into new shapes, new growth.  U on a personal level, on a universal level and you as a pronoun; something standing ‘in place of’, ‘on behalf of.’  U standing in place of you.”

Her process, she writes, includes using remnants of available fabric and assorted threads. “I collage and applique cut-out parts to create stitched densities, repeated forms, and dimensional areas.  Each piece takes months of handwork to build, and each one is the culmination of small, meditative actions that lend a sense of motion and vibration across their textured surfaces.”

For more information, please visit dianesiebelsfiberart.com.