From the Composing Wall to the Gallery Wall
and steps along the way:
For me, each new work grows from a kernel of inspiration: a line read, a song heard, dawn’s shy brilliance, trees bent in the wind, a quiet moment woods walking. A theme is developed, visual elements are chosen and the tangible work of composing a piece begins.
Composing the piece, ANGELS CAN FLY BECAUSE THEY TAKE THEMSELVES LIGHTLY, was a particular delight. It began with a particualrly striking length of dyed cloth. A happy result from the dye studio, it was beautifully variagated with blues, yellows, and greens. It suggested to me an expanse of sky light by the sun and flitered through spring-green leaves.
I decided to use it uncut as a background and build a composition where negative space, the space between elements, would be a primary to the design. I chose a familiar calligraphic motif of ideographic units to build an image that expressed joy, freedom, and movement.
And so the work began, incrementally adding unit to unit, guided by color, scale, pattern, and shape, with much experiementation and reflection, then correction, the work slowly took shape. My work is built on a composing wall, each piece pinned with or to the next. I rely upon my Ipad for frequent photos to document the process and allow me to ‘audition’ elements and segments as the work progresses. In assembling the workI enjoy ‘weaving’ the elements together, layering them over and under in an alternating rhythm. Periodically, segments are stitched to one another, and to the background. Each layer of stitching affects the physical tone of the textile, influencing the shape, dimensions of the ultimate outcome. Further stitching, both hand and machine, is added for texture, embellishment, and to meld the disparate elements into an integrated whole, underscoring the movement and thematic intention of the work. ~ Alice Levinson
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