Iíve lived an unconventional life. I designed and made costume clothing for rock ní roll musicians and fans. Iíve studied marine biology, becoming a rescue diver and assisted teaching scuba diving. Iíve developed websites from creating the images through writing the computer code. The rebel in me was once expressed by wearing ahead-of-the-times outrageous costumes and vintage clothing. My strong, bold style shattered when I lost my first child at birth and in grief I found my well of creativity dry. Shortly after this, I found comfort and a separate safe outlet for my creativity through quilting. I quickly veered away from traditional quilts and towards contemporary art pieces made of cloth. Textiles have played a significant role in my life, both in through giving me an independent provocative way of interacting with the world and providing a means of solace to help me reenter the world after it fell apart.
I am particularly drawn to representational art work. An avid photographer, I use my personal photography to spark my ideas. I like recreating the scenes and feelings from the places Iíve visited. My hope is that my artwork will capture the spirit of a place and the commonality we share with diverse people around the globe. The natural world of plants and animals also stimulates me to create. I work to embody the feelings shared between people and those they care about, whether man or beast. When working in my studio, I experience myself authentically, rather than as one of the many roles in life which we all have to play.
I make the majority of my work from both cotton and silk fabrics which I hand-dye. The dyes often form a base layer on which I build additional levels of design for the piece, using paints and ink. I make my own silk screens, stencils and print blocks to incorporate these additional elements. At times, Iíll add in my digital photographs, which I print on fabric. I may also create specific fabrics for different parts of my design, and then piece them together. Another method, pointillism, uses tiny pieces of different colored fabrics I have dyed. I encapsulate these mini points of color with a sheer fabric forming them into a finished image. The final portion on my work is to add stitching, sometimes quite densely over the piece, with multiple thread types.
Thank-you for your time and interest!
Christina Fairley Erickson