A Canvas Is a Hybrid (Not A Square)

Cloth, clothes, canvas, paint and bleach

Various sizes

When I could no longer stand the authority and rigidity of the tightly stretched canvas, I ripped it into pieces and have been folding, sewing, and cutting through it since. A canvas is a mere piece of cloth and I would like to treat it as such.  Furthermore, it should reflect my desire to physically interact with it and to mimic my daily actions of folding, sorting, hanging and stacking cloth away.

 

Women’s history is closely tied with the making and the weaving of cloth and yarn because of their roles as homemakers. Cloth (clothes, laundry, linen) has been one of women’s daily companions in cleaning, washing, sorting, folding and changing beddings. How can I speak about woman’s labor with a mean of a canvas?

 

I’ve always been seduced by fabrics, their folds, their sheen, patterns and textures. I suspect that the decorative aspect of cloth, in bringing beauty to one’s home and surroundings has been one of women’s means of expression, a way to immerse themselves in something other than a churning daily routine.

 

My undulating canvases combine cloth, clothes, canvas and evidence of process (labor) undone. I want them to have an open ended and unfinished quality as if, metaphorically speaking, my work is undone and another process is yet to repeat itself and make it ‘complete’.

 

I paint, bleach, staple and sew the cloth together.  The materials I utilize sometimes feel to me like a body, soft and palpable, a body, which I swaddle, cover, roll around and fold.

 

These hybrids (are they paintings? sculptures? 

processes?) are meant to divert the way we experience a canvas by means of looking back into the entire body, as labor, as matter. They are also meant to speak about woman’s daily work and labor worldwide, in providing service, creating beauty and finding solace with their expressive hands.

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