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Building my Bridge

Working in collaboration is always a learning experience. I have worked with others in professional projects and getting results is always a challenge. My goal for working with a group of international artists was to understand the world from the eyes of people who don’t live in my world. I wanted to hear from other voices. What I learned first was artists do speak the same language. Creating, making is what we are driven to do. The materials and tools might differ but our passion is the same.

The topic, Bridges, was another challenge to me. It wasn’t something that immediately called me. My work, like many artists is very personal. It is what drives me to create. Bridges was not a theme or topic that spoke to me. But I like a challenge and set my brain to the topic. What does it mean?

Crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge has been a common occurrence for me as I recently moved from Metro District of Columbia, to coastal Delaware

I came up with so many associations! Bridges serve as traffic infrastructure for the public, getting people safely and efficiently from one place to another. Bridges are structurally amazing works of human ingenuity – and they are made of all kinds of material, from primitive hand tied ropes for crossing by humans and animals, to works of art like California’s Golden Gate bridge, to the new glass bridges created over vast geographic wonders. Bridges serve as a metaphor for reaching another, as in bridging the generations. My brain was spinning.

My new favorite bridge is the Indian Inlet Bridge. It is a more contemporary bridge and the colors change. It allows smaller boats to go into the Atlantic Ocean from the bay.

My challenge was to find one idea and translate it into a visual representation. I can get stuck in the literal and was continually challenged with my literal brain. Until I went shopping at the local thrift shop. I found a woman’s jacket made of cloth that was printed with – Bridges. There was my inspiration.

you can see the jacquard type fabric was printed with various bridges. While I don't think I would ever wear this jacket, it was all I needed to create

I love to repurpose fabrics. I love to work with one piece of fabric and find ways to use it that creates different effects and this fabric had a different back than the front. Perfect. I was going to be ok with literal.
This is my second iteration of the topic. My first was okay, but I didn’t feel like it represented me as an artist so I did it again- another way to learn. I decided if I was going literal should represent me as an artist. I love raw edge assemblages, I value inexact, imperfect. I don’t like perfection and straight lines. I love the stitched surface. I love a touch of sparkle. I love using unconventional fabrics. I love repurposing. The rest was easy.

this is a sample of my first try, too messy, I don't know if you can see it but it also had "loft" a puffy quality, which might be good in bedquilts, it is not something I want in my art

My Bridge symbolizes all the metaphors associated; strength, going somewhere, connections, beauty and power. And it is literal which I am okay with - in this piece. It also symbolizes me and my work, raw edges and stitching. The sparkle is a mylar package from a favorite tea bag, the fabric is repurposed clothing.

this is a detail from my bridge. It has imperfect straight lines. I tried to use as much of the fabric as I could. The silver bits are pieces of a tea bag package. Collaboration, a great way to work. A great way to learn about others. Which is the reason for 20 Perspectives.

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