The wonderfully textured textile paintings of artist Janice Stevens highlight the continual struggle between man-made objects and nature. To see more of her amazing work, visit her website.
Rust on a metal door latch, moss on a concrete wall, small green sprouts between bricks and stones on a building; all these images inspire me with a sense of awe at the beauty created by Nature on the surfaces of our man-made structures. I see these changes as evidence of our struggle to impose our will on our environment and Nature’s quiet effort to reclaim its territory.
Based on hundreds of photos I have taken over the years, I create textile artworks that depict the beauty and textural interest that time and Nature add to our hard surfaced creations and discarded objects.
I have lived in Asia since 1992 and exposure to different cultures and philosophies has influenced my artwork. For example, since Buddha was seated under a bohdi tree when he reached enlightenment, the bohdi leaf is used to symbolize the soul.
In my series Depression, I show the gradual decay and collapse of a bohdi leaf to depict the effects of chronic depression on the human spirit.
My general approach uses dyeing, dye painting, and painting to create the appropriate background for the image. Collage with fabric is then used to define the larger colored areas of the image.
The details are then filled in with thread and paint.
The final step is the quilting which adds visual texture and interest to the image.
Each artwork presents unique challenges in conception and execution. In “Urban Renewal”, to visually reproduce the texture of the woven plastic cement bags, I created fabric by cutting and weaving together narrow strips of silk organza. I then cut the fabric into the correct shapes and collaged them to the background before painting and stitching in the details.
In “Communication Breakdown”, the challenge was to make soft fabric act like stiff paper, to roll and curl and maintain its shape.
My present series, Artifacts, is based on images of things that have been placed on the roadside for long periods of time. They show the effects of prolonged exposure to the elements and the effort of Nature to overtake them.
My artwork has been shown in exhibitions in the United States, England, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
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