China Marks

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Artist Statement:

Since 2002, I have used an industrial sewing machine to draw with thread on fabric, creating entirely process-directed imagery. I call what I make "sewn drawings."

The fabrics I use derive their patterns directly or indirectly from 18th century France,
19th century England, classical China as well as chinoiserie, 19th century and contemporary Japan, 20th century and contemporary Europe, America, India, and Africa. My sewn drawings reflect and refract the cultures of the patterns they contain.

I cut up and harvest these patterns, re-combining them into hybrid forms which I subject to weeks of transformative "sewing-into" and countless revisions. Because I begin with only a rough approximation, then grope sideways towards a dimly sensed resolution, which changes as I go, and the process is labor-intensive, it takes weeks to create a drawing. Fortunately, the process of sewing-into, un-doing, and re-doing determines most of the imagery. I need only respond to what is happening under my hands.

Hello! (2005)
22" x 19" Fabric, lace, thread, silk-screen ink, fusible adhesive

My Summer in Japan (2005)
23 ¼" x 38 ¾" Fabric, lace, thread silk-screen ink,
plastic, stone beads, colored glass, fusible adhesive

Drink Me! (2005)
31" x 34" Fabric, lace, thread, silk-screen ink, fusible adhesive

Who Do You Love? (2006)
29 ½" x 42 ½" Fabric, lace, thread, silk-screen ink, fusible adhesive

Florabundum (2006)
23 ½" x 18" Fabric, thread, fusible adhesive

Lost in Space (2006)
16" x 13" Fabric, thread, fusible adhesive

Photo of China Marks by Beverly Brown. Photos of artworks by Dan Dragan.

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