Changing white fabric into an image that is alive and colorful and portrays spirit is what I strive for in my work. Women's images predominate.
I grew up by the ocean in Ireland surrounded by the wondrous colors of nature: blues and greys of the water, golden sand, deep green fields, and purple and yellow covered hills. My father's love of California Mission style architecture was reflected in the style and colors of our home. My sister, Noirin, wove multi-colored wools into soft and versatile tweed.
Although most of the faces around me were white, my family had a strong connection with Africa. Raymond, my brother, was a missionary in Biafra (now a part of Nigeria). During the devastating wars in that country, African students lived in our home and became part of our extended family. We raised money for food and medical supplies and collected clothes to aid the victims of war. Meanwhile, African guests came and went, leaving the wonderful colors of their clothes in my young mind.
For many years my focus has been on ceramic art, moving from more traditional pieces to large moon pots and sculptures of women's groupings. A two-week pottery workshop in Maine unexpectedly led me to the wonders of fabric art. I gravitated towards the women experimenting with fabric dying, silk screening and color blending.
Full of enthusiasm, I brought this art form back to my studio. My experience and ideas of working with fabric and dyes have been incorporated into a five-step process: dying white fabric, silk screening, creating the images, appliqueing, and quilting and/or binding the finished pieces. The wall hangings are given life at each of these stages. I have no preconceived pattern when I begin. From the colors of the dyed and silk-screened fabric, I form the images which will eventually be appliqued. Each stage offers another opportunity to be creative and respond to the exciting challenge of combining these beautiful materials to enhance our environment. I invite you to join me on this journey.