Virtual Exhibition, "Messages In Threads and Wings"
This is an online version of "Messages In Threads and Wings: Recent Work by Lesley Patterson-Marx," on view at Appalachian Center for Craft through October 2, 2020.
You can view a video of the exhibition here, and videos of the artist's books here, or click on the first four images below to see the books in action. Click on individual images for more details and writing about each piece. Scroll to the bottom to read the artist's statement and view installation images of the exhibition. Click here to read a beautiful review of the exhibition in The Nashville Scene, by Erica Ciccarone, Culture Editor.
Artist's Statement for the Exhibition
Through the process of creating mixed-media artists’ books and works from paper and fabric, I express wonder at the connections between human life and the natural world. My work often begins in response to things that I find and collect, both natural and human-made. Through the pairing of these objects, images, and textures, I work intuitively, inviting the accidental and synchronous to reveal sublime mysteries that reside within the mundane.
In my most recent work, I explore the idea of the apron as a container for ideas surrounding the protection of nature and one’s mind, body, and spirit. A vestment of sacred ritual, caretaking, and service, this humble garment has the power to protect its wearer and the fragile contents of its pockets. The pockets of my aprons carry collections and messages that enshrine that which is ephemeral and enduring, small treasures that represent the persistence of life.
Through the use of symbolic imagery in my artists’ books and boxes, the viewer is invited to consider the act of sewing as a means for mindful reflection and self-discovery. Inherent in the act of sewing is the power to heal the spirit and protect the body with the intention of one’s own creations. In other works, I form connections between sewing and the reflective practice of handwriting letters, combining postal imagery and textures with thread and cloth. Fabric envelopes enshrine memory, buttons and zippers reveal and conceal loss and longing, and cancelled stamps are free to be stitched into new forms, as their duty to carry letters has been fulfilled.
In considering the variety of ideas that I embrace in my creative practice, I see that they are all connected by a desire to use art as a means of healing mind, body, and spirit, and to affirm the humanity of all people through our deep and abiding connection to one another and to the earth.