Monday, September 27, 2010

Featured Artist: Janet Hadingham

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Janet Hadingham from Wayland, MA.

String Theory

About the Piece: This piece is the result of a science experiment of sorts. I had a theory that string could act, not only as a resist, but as a mark-making tool,… that is, if I were to load the string with dye prior to using it to bind the fabric around the pole — in this case, a length of flexible vinyl duct, one of my favorite improvised tools because it leaves wavy lines suggesting ripples on water.
The Rose Window

About the Piece: On this length of dupion silk I used a similar set of folds and bindings for each stage of dyeing. I wanted the patterning from each layer to move in generally the same direction. After the third dye bath, I hung up the piece so that I could stand back and have a good long look at it. As I had hoped, the lines appeared to radiate from a central point somewhere off to the left of the piece, suggesting a larger rosette, only part of which was visible. Then it struck me: the memory of sitting inside the chapel at Mount Holyoke College, where soft afternoon light was filtering through the magnificent rose window.

Artist Statement/Biography: My work is a blend of ancient techniques and chance discoveries. I usually start by manipulating the cloth, using physical resist processes - binding, clamping, wrapping- derived from the Japanese shibori tradition. Compelled to innovate, I'm always on the look-out for discarded objects to clamp within the folds of my cloth, wondering what ghostly "resist" image it might leave behind.

I work in layers to build up color and pattern. Each piece goes through many stages, until I arrive at that moment when the cloth tells me it is finished. Washing out the dye and unraveling the wet fabric comes with the thrill of unwrapping a gift. I'm always surprised and mystified that an object so utilitarian as a C-clamp can leave so delicate a mark, like moth wings, repeating rhythmically through the folds.

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