Heidi ParkesMilwaukee, WI
Some common themes in my art are those of mapping, memory, and color field work. I use fabric and shapes to abstractly represent landscapes and places. I use found textiles to incorporate histories and memories in the art. While I work alone, I encourage a feeling of collaboration in my art. First, in my materials, because the fabrics were made, designed, printed, and sourced from places outside myself. Second, I use the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi to collaborate with nature. I ‘allow’ things to happen when dying my fabric and when hand quilting.
I piece and quilt in an improvisational style. This tradition is well known in ‘The Quilts of Gee’s Bend,’ and they are often referred to as having a jazz aesthetic in their art. By improvising, when I start a quilt, I know the general direction in which I plan to work, but I have not pre-planned, sketched in detail, or gridded the design in advance. Much like an abstract expressionist painter, I react to the work as I’m making it.