2-person show features fiber work by Kate Gorman and Gwen Surratt; show runs through December 2016.
I am a visual storyteller. I love stories; I love telling stories through pictures. I work in fabric because of the tactile and textural qualities inherent in cloth, and I do narratives because the story is a natural starting point for me. My background is in illustration and literature. After working for many years as an illustrator-for-hire working in watercolor and pen-and-ink, I fell in love with textiles and began making contemporary narrative art quilts.
The pieces here incorporate both my appliqué technique, layering commercially printed and hand-dyed fabrics, and my more recent method of working; drawing with thickened dyes and hand-stitching on linen. I love the immediacy of the appliqué work, but also the contemplative nature of the hand-drawn and stitched pieces.
When not in my studio, I work at the Goodwill Art Studio and Gallery, in Columbus, Ohio, creating art with adults with disabilities. I am also an Ohio Arts Council residency artist, traveling around the state sharing my love of narrative quilts with schoolchildren of all ages.
As a fiber artist I am drawn to color, shape, texture and line. I look to the natural world for color, to architecture for shape and structure, and the beauty of calligraphy for linear inspiration.
The works on display are a small part of my journey of exploration in fabric and thread. Hand stitching for me is like drawing or writing with needle and thread. My canvas is cotton, wool, silk, linen or paper. The sensual qualities of fabric, such as its texture and drape, feed my vision of what I want to create. Hand stitching, making marks with thread, grows into a grid-like design, with each little cell-like shape connecting to the next.
My work is meditative and at times feels like I am writing my own language with thread, stitching my own stories.
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