Alice Levinson

I am the daughter of a masterseamstress and the grad-daughter of a tailor. Perhaps that explains my affinity to working with cloth, needle, and thread. I am drawn to the tactile nature of fabric and find delight in its’ hand. I experiment freely with dye, paint, and printing techniques to create cloth complex in texture and rich in visual interest.

Mending Matrix

This fabric is cut or torn and melded together as I build my compositions. Each piece is built of successive layering of fabric and thread. Often raw edges are honored and loose threads purposefully retained, documenting the process of construction. My work process is intuitive and encourages spontaneity and experimentation. The studio is a joyful place.

I am by nature an observer of people and the natural world. These observations lead to musings, scribbled phrases, gestural sketches. These suggest themes, visual motifs, a palette. I reach for the cloth and then the magic begins. As I begin to handle the materials and work the cloth, image, line, pattern find their way though my hands into the work in a remarkable way. My task is to stay open and responsive to the ‘voice’ of the cloth and allow the creative flow. This is not easy, but is always satisfying. The time for critical review, re-direction, and editing will come later. My primary task as an artist is to honor and facilitate this process led by the materials and my intuitive response to them. For me this is the hallmark of art-making. The process is primary. The outcome is secondary. Some people call this the ‘playfulness’ of art making. This makes most children natural artists, engaging with their environment in a free, non-judging i.e., creative manner. For the rest of us, the work is learning to relinquish the habit of critical thinking. An exercise I endorse and one I continue to practice.

In recent work I am challenging traditional formats and experimenting with moving the textile further off the wall toward the sculptural. Negative space is emphasized which frees curvilinear motifs and allows shadow play.


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