Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wen Redmond changes imagination into fascinating art

New Hamspire Artist Wen Redmond has been working with fiber since the early 1970s and been establishing a contemporary style and voice that resonates through the fabric art community. Notice that one of her works is offered for sale in the right column here at Subversive Stitchers: Women Armed with Needles. I'm so pleased to welcome Wen and hope you enjoy her discussion of her art and her process and yes, her inspiration. -- Dawn

“Making art is like a meditation. I put that energy into my creations. Later, viewing them, revisit that feeling; like reading a poem or familiar story. It brings you back.”

I make art because I must.

Urges to create must be followed. I have worked in fiber in one form or another for over 35 years. I explore the edges to see what my chosen medium can do. Fiber is the medium. I create ALL of my fabric. They start out white and I dye, paint, print, digitalize and go mad with color.

My experiences in nature feed my work. I am continually inspired by my contacts with the outer world, during walks, X-country skiing, or even driving past an inspiring view. Inner enlightments often bubble up during the time I take to be in nature. These also inform, inspire, and clarify, creating the excitement I express through my art. Allowing time for these inspirations to percolate up from my unconscious is a vital part of my process.

When I work, I encourage a collaborative process with spirit or my higher self, that mind-boggling principle of the universe. This process can also be called ‘flow’. When you are in this state of mind, the intuitive is tapped and the work can become more than the sum of it’s parts.

My fascination with photography is finding expression viva printing my images directly onto a variety of natural fibers. I use my own printed fabric to create stitched textural constructions and digital collage. I created an innovative technique I call Holographic Images. This is an unusual photographic multi-level fiber art treatment. The finished work appears holographic or 3-D.These pieces move as the viewer changes positions. The art becomes interactive, a communication.
To achieve this effect, I print my original digital images twice. I print on especially treated silk organza for the top image, and sew into fabric borders. This is mounted and the second image is transferred onto a polyester and rayon stabilizer, which is used for the backing.

I use an Epson 2400 Photo Stylus. The inks are archival. These inks are water proof, and fade resistant for at least 200 years.

I published an article about this technique in Quilting Arts May 2007 and they invited me to appear on their TV Show that year. You can purchase a DVD called Holographic Memories though their website.

Most of my latest work contains digital printing. Digital Fiber! This involves using my own photographs, printed on prepared ink jet fabrics. You can purchase prepared fabrics in a variety of places on the Internet. Google to compare your options. I also create various other fiber substrates, which are treated to receive the printer inks. Ink Aid is coated on the surface and will seal the ink. Lately I have been digitally manipulating my photographs and layering images of my surfaced designed and hand painted fabrics in Photoshop. Experimentation is key.
I love to Collage! My Mixed Media Collages are 
assemblages of archival digital prints collaged with textiles, combining painting and digital media into a one of a kind art piece. Silk Organza is often worked into mixed media collages that explore transparency, an added dimension of light. Light flows through the layered sheer silk, creating different patterns. The abstract nature of this work allows the viewer to see different images within the same piece. (5,6,7)

I enjoy adding text in my work. Some times it is readable, other times it is embedded or even backwards. Parts of a poem will appear in various places. I wrote an entire poem viva free quilting on one piece. My poetry and quotes from other authors will also find their way into my work. I developed a nonsensical writing a friend dubbed ‘wens-script’. It adds a feel of writing but develops as a pattern within the work.

Fiber art is on the cusp of a wave. Fiber artists are evolving our medium to a new level of perception. Using textiles to create art is breaking the boundaries of the art world. Fiber as an art form is highly collectable right now because it is so new and affordable.

What does one do, who sees visions? Experiment. Break rules. Expose people to new ways of seeing. Art, to me, is about moving forward. Creation gives me ideas. My passion is to put them into art. I use my medium, fiber.

Note: Visit Wen's website or Etsy Shop or Artful Home site for more of her work.


arlee said...

OH text in textiles--YES!!! Wonderful!!! I'm working it in too, so really like seeing what others are doing this way--especially when we use our OWN words. Thank you Wen!

Rachel Biel said...

Wow, Wen! Congratulations! What a great post! I love this blog and was taken aback when I saw you there, someone I "know"!!!! Exciting!

Rachel (over from Fiber Focus and TAFA)

(oh, and hi, Arlee!)

Anonymous said...

This was great fun! Working on submissions hones your skills. Thank you Dawn!!