This month marks the 17th year of our collaboration!
So we can’t help but reflect on some of the changes we’ve experienced over those years. In 1999, the world still felt large and the pace of life seemed slower. Computers were in use, but mainly for creating spreadsheets, processing data and writing documents. Since the World Wide Web was generally in its infancy, the telephone was the technology we relied on for communication. At the time, as artists, we didn’t have much use for what the computer had to offer. We wrote messages and notes in long hand, kept a record of our sales in a ledger, and sketched in our notebooks. If we wanted to advertise one of our exhibits, it meant spending several hours stationed at Kinko’s, cutting, pasting and copying to create ads, flyers and postcards.
Just a couple years into our work we started to notice how the computer was affecting the creative world. Contrary to what we knew and enjoyed about making art, in short time, advances in the technology altered the processes of some media, some of which hadn’t changed for decades or even centuries. Film photography was replaced with a digital camera and pixels on a computer screen. Hundreds of typography fonts could be accessed at the click of a mouse. The sketchpad was traded for computer design programs and a touch pad. And hand produced pages of a portfolio were converted into a website.
What we didn’t realize when we started creating our fiber ‘paintings’, was how the process we developed would become a respite from the fast pace of every day life. When beginning a fiber painting, we watch while the composition slowly unfolds. The meticulous process of cutting and sewing the pieces and layers of fabric require all our attention. Our reward for the work is the contentment we feel as the fiber painting carries us through the weeks and months spent developing its narrative. When we step back from a newly finished piece, we can recognize the moments of time we were present only to the work, dissolving the activity that rushes around us. It’s a slow art form that draws us in. It invites us to meditate on its existence, to reflect on the past, or to drift into the future that exists beyond the horizon.
When we formed our studio 17 years ago, we couldn’t have imagined what our work would mean to us today. With the creation of the roughly 250 fiber paintings we’ve made so far, we’ve watched and embraced growth and change, while letting the art anchor us in the spaciousness of the present moment.
Here’s to a thrilling 17 years, and to at least 17 more!