Julia E. Pfaff
I make art employing the most vernacular of all media – stitched fabric. In the late 70’s I was inspired by the work of conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth to present quilts as art within a gallery context. Moving beyond the conceptualists’ appropriation of found domestic objects I have chosen to maintain the integrity of my art object – a quilt – and lavish upon it layers of process. My Contour series uses dye inkjet printed fabrics which originate with my own hand embroidered hand dye painted fabric. The digital image is manipulated and enlarged prior to printing. Prior to quilting the fabrics may be further altered with pigment and/or hand embroidery. My Contrast series references my digitally enlarged views of embroidered stitches. In this work I show drips and contours outlined by yellow painted “stitches”. Each yellow “stitch” is surrounded by intensely colored hand embroidery. Stitching surrounds stitches, and then machine quilting is added in decorative designs and those suggesting the contour lines from topographical maps. In both series the finished object has the structure of a quilt, but the images are informed by folk, fine art, ethnic and graphic design traditions. My goal is the creation of a contemplative object, both beautiful and evocative, both well-crafted and spontaneous in design.