Written by: Shelley Miller, artist whose work is featured in “Intersections” in SCC Gallery
Since my early formations as an artist, I have been interested in domestic materials as well as craft practices traditionally done by women. In recent years, I have focused my work on aggrandizing the art form of quilting and patchwork, using scale to emphasize value. I have used the quilt as a visual and conceptual referent, creating fabric compositions, community collaborations, and large-scale public art commissions.
In my public art practice, I have created several large scale permanent murals that reference traditional patchwork geometry. Jumping off of the feminist mantra “the personal is political,” I have chosen to put domestic references in the public domain as a way to remind one of home, but also to act as an assertive and confident voice in public for women’s craft traditions. My goal is to juxtapose patchwork with the respected realm of architecture, revealing the architecture of cloth; the structure of sewing.
I believe it is the people in a community who make up the true urban fabric of a place. With this in mind, I began a series called People, Pattern, Place that uses people and the colour of their clothes to create geometric formations, recalling traditional patchwork designs common to each geographical area. The aim of this project is as much about celebrating craft traditions as it is about bringing people together. By physically connecting people to create these harmonious formations, my goal is to spark new relationships and conversations in communities.