My quilts utilize film footage from textile documentaries, which I rework in multiple ways.
The source of the historical footage is the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), which recently de-accessioned the 16 mm films in their library. These short, educational documentaries, dated 1952 - 1982, focused on textiles as art, craft, fashion, military camouflage, political expression, and scientific metaphor.
After watching the movies, I cut them up and sew them together with my own, personal film footage. In processes that reference painting, drawing, quiltmaking, and experimental filmmaking, I bleach, dye, scratch, draw, and paint onto some of the film.
The formal logic of my sewn designs
are derived from popular American quilt motifs including log cabin
squares, octagonal stars, and "string quilts," wherein long, thin
fabric scraps left over from other projects are cut and sewn together.
The works are hung like curtains in the windows of exhibition spaces,
or displayed on gallery walls via light boxes, engaging the notion of
filmic suture in a reconfigured form.
As digital formats displace movie film, I draw from film history to
create one possible future for celluloid. My work connects experimental
filmmaking methods to the forgotten history of early cinema, which
borrowed sewing machine mechanisms for advancing sprocket holes and
employed women as editors because of their agile sewing fingers. Images
of hands at work – weaving, dyeing cloth, feeding fabric into machines
– are repeated throughout this body of work, reminders not only of my
labor and the handcraft history of film editing, but also of the
tactile quality of film.