These works on Fabric were inspired by the integral feel of the saris and lungi, the fabric worn by the women and men of India, and the rituals of bathing in the Ganges. There is something almost ephemeral about these garments, mixed with the rash of color and texture in the place.
In the first image, I tried to communicate the feeling of the Taj Mahal, a muslim shrine that draws a river of Hindus during the holiday season. My visit took place during Dwali, a festival of lights and renewal and the time of year when new clothes are bought. I wanted to capture first the mix of cultures at this shrine to lost love, and the sense of the city, Agra, and the working people, the poor, who underscore every experience in India. Men on bicycles haul fantastic bundles of marigolds to the shrine, criss-crossing with ox carts – as if time had stopped.
The seven images that follow were created for the 2015 World Music Festival celebrated in Raleigh by the International Bluegrass Music Association. I wanted to use the feeling of a quilted image-making with a cotton cloth that echoes the Appalachian homeplaces of Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In each quilt, I honor an instrument (including the voice!) the mix of rushing fast notes and long, lyrical chords. This is the heart and pulse of bluegrass music. Even when bluegrass is about loss and death, suffering and hard times, it is a buoyant sea of vibrating strings and strong, clear voices.