Art Quote of the Day

Friday, August 05, 2011

Stuff we like: Sophie Sanders

In her words:
My work implements real and imagined narratives to represent others and myself according to empathetic critique. Using a blade as my paintbrush, I cut out textiles to create dramatic juxtapositions between positive and negative forms, often contrasting cool and warm colors to make my figures "pop." The materials that I appropriate have a history and cultural context that I seek to complicate when combining them with other fabrics, paint, or beads. In recent paintings, installations, and textile pieces, I explore the value of human relationships as opposed to commercial culture. Blanket of Security is made of military uniforms from my husband and Major General Hugh Robinson, the first African American personal aide to the president, who served under Lyndon B. Johnson. I use the quilt as a domestic symbol of comfort to acknowledge the idea of self-sacrifice, taking inspiration from the recycling of work-clothes in African American quilts of Gee's Bend Alabama. Rhythm, Remembrance, and Re-presentation creates an environment in which the viewer experiences many aspects of African Diaspora influences in American culture through music, sound, and image. Narcissus uses discarded fabric from a Chinese sweatshop in Philadelphia and a tie factory in Dresden, Germany. Healer’s Coat, synthesizes elements from a doctor’s coat, the hunters shirts of Bamana peoples of West Africa that are encrusted in amulets and animal claws or teeth, and a western-style cowboy jacket. We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For is based on a Hopi Native American poem and a song by the all-women vocal group Sweet Honey and the Rock. This image celebrates the strength of a coalition of women who go through the fire together to create social change. The images are from a series of explorations using mixed-media painting and collage techniques, sewing, installation, and quilt making. The painted works are conceptually related to the textile pieces, and compositionally they share an interest in manipulating foreground and background to create drama, rhythmic pattern, and movement. Although I work in a variety of media, I investigate similar themes in these works, including: 1. a personal sense of value, 2. dance and movement, and 3. paying tribute to singular individuals and events.

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