About the Sewn Paintings
After working exclusively on paper for about five years, I shifted my attention to canvas and linen but continued my obsession with line while allowing the new materials and surfaces to transport my explorations in new directions. The change in materials opened up the work in terms of composition and personal narrative as the work became bolder and more colorful. Yet I was able to continue to explore the tension between craft and art, and the transforming nature of lines, surfaces and materials.
I use thread to apply color, add dimension and create sculptural elements. I love the functional abilities of thread to repair, decorate, and hold together. Woven, thread becomes a continual surface, as in the canvas itself.
Paint is more easily manipulated, applied and reapplied. It adheres to the canvas and stretches across it like a skin. Using tape with the paint provides a certain uncontrolled control as edges reveal themselves in an unpredictable way.
Both materials come with their own historical narrative: Thread conjures the woman's means of production and craft from its applications (both functional and decorative), while painting comes from a patriarchal lineage. Combining thread, floss and sewing techniques with paint allows me to wrestle with that ingrained gender tension. Does the viewer value one material or form of expression over the other? Or have we shed the narratives as two media play on the same field, basically doing the same thing – creating surface, shape, color, image, etc. - is that even possible?
Audrey Stone, 2014