Fiber artist Rhanna Nyman builds complex images that make a dynamic statement. Visit her website to see more of her work.
“I thought it was a painting!” is a comment I often hear.
However, my images are created from fabric and thread. They are designed to hang on your walls like art quilts, though my wall pieces are very different from quilts, both in appearance and technique, from traditional quilting.
The bits of fabric I use are tiny, and there are endless sewn lines of thread… it is often hard to tell where one piece of fabric ends and another begins. My imagery depicts a vast sense of light and space with flowing color transitions often associated with painted images.
I build an image similarly to the way one applies paint to a canvas. Like an oil painter, I start with a ground layer of color (a solid color piece of cotton fabric in my case). I then begin working into that ground layer of cloth with small bits of color applied via thousands of tiny, precisely cut and positioned squares of cottons, silks, and transparent fabrics.
The fabric squares are stabilized with a lot of heat, pressure and steam from an iron. Free form embroidery hold down the layers of fabric, and adds to the intricate network of gradually developing line and color. Because each bit of fabric, and each sewn line, is a direct response to what has come before and is considered in relation to the whole, a richly toned, deeply elaborate image results.
My involved, contemplative application of the color allows me to develop and engage light and space in a way that is traditionally a painter’s domain. The result is distinctive, ground breaking images which constantly generate the response “This is amazing! I have never seen anything like this!!”
My affinity for the creative process lead to a B.F.A. in ceramics and painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1987. For the last twenty-two years I have maintained a full-time fiber and mixed media arts studio.
My work has been displayed across the country in more than 200 shows. I am privileged to be able to say it is enjoyed in homes around the world!
Currently I am exploring a new direction by expanding the work into the third dimension. I am creating fiber art images designed to be presented as sculpture. To have three-dimensional fiber based pieces imbued with a sense of light and space breaks through a whole new range of boundaries, and is very exciting.
Recently I have also been exploring the addition of areas of painted canvas to my fiber pieces. This is allowing me to add more organic elements to the work. My framed original wall pieces feature a specially treated, textured mat that allows the work to be presented without glass.
I use photographs of my wall pieces as a point of departure for creating a line of reproduction work. I digitally manipulate the photographs until a uniquely new image is created. The finished image is accented with poetic quotes from Margaret H. Brooks. These photographs are mounted to foam core and are suitable for gift giving and are suitable for gift giving and framing.
Rhanna Nyman invites you to follow her on Facebook.