Created on February 25th 2008
Words, color, rhythm and texture capture my imagination and are translated to fiber–the fiber I harvest from my Angora rabbits, the silk I roll off the bolt to twist and dye. When I moved onto my 75-acre farm in 1976, I stepped out of academia and into the physical expression of ideas. I began to live simply and naturally in my body and not just in my head, going “back to the land” to test my zen theories and hill hippie practicality. Cutting wood, hauling water, expressing my art in synchronicity with the rhythm of the seasons changed my perception of what was “real,” and many of my cherished ideals fell by the wayside as I began to understand what “real living” demanded of me. How sophisticated the simple and natural became as it revealed itself to me! Today I take nothing for granted and choose what for me is a peaceful way, creating color on fabric and fiber that may touch the heart or mind of another human being.
Color as the expression of individuality and universality of experience intrigues me. I especially enjoy the process of layering color upon color in the art of shibori as it is used withfiber reactive dyes. Alternatively, shibori dyeing with an indigo vat allows me to touch the visions of the universal past in traditional pattern and shape. Teaching these techniques to others in workshops, small gatherings, and conferences allows me to encourage the vision of others as we play with color, texture, and form. My desire is to enhance the artful creator within each of us.
I am pulled between my philosophy of life, which the Japanese would describe as wabi sabi–the way of humble beauty–and my desire to prove myself using the most sophisticatedtechniques and materials. I like to honor the spirit of the spider and the spinning worm who, with line and design, make beautiful garments and the art pieces we call webs. There is magic in the sticky cocoon that evolves to become the luxurious charmeuse of a jacket.
Wearable fabric art combines contemporary trend and time-honored tradition. I prefer to use simple designs that can display a pattern or color and its energy, be it contemporary or traditional, regardless of its current marketability. Ultimately the greatest pleasure of holding fabric in my hands is knowing that it will carry my vision of it out into the physical and spiritual worlds we live in, and through this vehicle I will touch the senses of others.
Sharon Kilfoyle 2006
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