Serious Fun


Ali Givens

For Serious Fun I’ve worked on refining several fabric collages that I began years ago. For some pieces, such as “Orange Peacock” I removed the strongest element, the peacock, from the original quilt and built an entirely new composition. In the new collage a cityscape becomes the backdrop as the the peacock stands in front searching among the rocks.  In another work, “Long Afternoon” I simplified the colors to create a completely new feeling. The original background was bright orange, but by replacing it with a more muted gray I was able to make all of the other colors come alive. I think sometimes you have to look at something a long time to figure it out–it’s like a puzzle. Fabric is wonderfully forgiving which makes it very fun as a medium–the more I work with it, the more I’ve learned to relax during the process. For this show I’ve also revisited my favorite theme: the still life.

Especially fun and challenging for me was incorporating my own interpretations of my fellow artists’ paintings and pottery as elements in my own collages. I have a beautiful vase by Garry Childs in my living room. It sits in the corner full of curly willow branches next to a very old stained glass window. Each morning when I sit on the sofa drinking my coffee, I stare at that corner–it became a still life in my mind. I first made a drawing of these elements, the vase, the window, the brick wall and the table. I then made a small collage with fabric to work out the details. Then, from that small collage, I was able to blow it up to a much larger size. This process works well for me. I love images that are small and intimate, and also images that are very large and bold. “Ode to Garry’s Vase” was challenging collage, but one that I truly enjoyed because of personal connection (Garry is also an artist at HGA). Being inspired by my friends is always fun, serious fun.



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