November 29, 2014

Beyond the Boundaries Award at Quilt Visions 2014

California Fibers regularly gives a Beyond the Boundaries award to a piece in a national or international fiber exhibition. This year's award winner is Nancy Condon for her piece Shrouds in the Quilt Visions 2014 exhibit, on view at the Visions Art Museum through January 4, 2015. 

37" x 26"
Cotton, silk, synthetic fabrics, inkjet printing, thread
Fabric, dyed with liquid acrylic, inkjet printed, machine and hand stitched, quilted

Condon is from Stillwater, Minnesota. The statement for Shrouds reads as follows: "1,129 people, mostly women and girls, died in the Rana Plaza, Dhaka, Bangladesh factory fire. Next time you buy a garment, check the label to see where it was made and think about its real price."   

Detail of Shrouds

Condon's artist statement tells us more about her process: 

I make art out of an urge to create something meaningful. I work in fiber out of a need to connect to the past. I merge graphic imagery with the tactile qualities of fabric out of a desire to link the past, present and future. My artwork is an integral part of who I am. By referencing the complexity of the emotional, moral, social and economic realities in the imagery I use, I seek to process the parts into a cohesive whole.

The themes in my work are often about my experiences and my reactions to those experiences. I seek to make some kind of nonverbal sense out of the dance between my head and my heart.

I begin with an idea that usually takes me down a path I have not been before. I work in fabric and in paper. I pick up bits of garbage on my walks or as I sort the recycle, which I often use in my work. I take photos, of both the natural world and the garbage and other evidence of how humans have damaged it or each other. 

I use a scanner and Photoshop to develop my imagery, which I often print on fabric. I also dye fabric or use found fabric. I begin each piece by establishing an internal dialogue with the subject matter and with the fabric. Eye, brain, hand and the materials I use all have a part to play in the dialogue.

Shrouds was picked for this award by the jurors of Quilt Visions 2014, including Sue Benner, a studio artist making primarily art quilts; Patty Hawkins, also an art quilter; and Bruce Hoffman, the Director of Gravers Lane Gallery in the historic Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia. 

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