Jeanette Davis is a mixed media fiber artist who lives and works in Grand Junction, CO. Her first incursion into the art world was in the seventies with experimental film-making; an interest she put on hold during career development and until her retirement as a licensed clinical social worker/psychotherapist. As an adult artist, Davis learned to sew and studied with excellent teachers to learn elements of making art quilts. Her work has been juried into numerous national exhibits, including the Denver Mancuso Shows (2010 and 2012), Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XIX, and New England World Quilt Show X.
Her interest in experimental processes and the value of meaning as well as method in the creative process, led to enrolling in Jane Dunnewold’s Art Cloth Mastery Program, which Davis completed in 2013.
“Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. ”—Alan Watts
The Alan Watts quote stopped me in my tracks upon first reading because it describes the reason I make art. I make art as a means of expression, an attempt to communicate the felt experience of a bi-cultural identity, something shared with many others. Words cannot convey the complexity and contradiction inherent in how biculturalism feels, nor the various permutations of it-- though words can describe what it is. Metaphor and symbolic language are one of the ways that feeling states can be communicated. For me that is art.
Why use cloth for art? Why use stitching? Both cloth and stitching are matrilineal connections. The silk broadcloth used in both pieces of my continuing series on the arch provides refined elegance yet strength and durability to sustain the overlapping layers of silk-screened color that I added to create the background foundation of the painted-on arches. The arch is often seen as a pathway, an architectural structure found in sacred spaces, or as an element that symbolizes sky and earth. The arch for me represents a transitional space, the place in-between “here” and “there,” a place that allows two different perspectives depending on what direction one faces.The simple stitches hand-sewn around each of the stones that make up the arch provided a gift of slowing down, of taking time to remember loved ones, and of honoring one of the other reasons I make art, for enjoyment of the process.
|Arch 2 detail|