Heidi Parkes Artist Statement
In my work, I create a scaffolding of fabric, piecing, and quilting that allows me to reference many ideas on a single plane. The raw materials are textiles from domestic culture, fashion, family heirlooms, and scavenged prints. I integrate them with fabrics that I have embroidered, stained, dyed, or designed. These materials are pieced together to create the main imagery of the quilt, like a collage. This cloth is then beset with hand stitches, evocative of the slow process involved in construction, and functioning as a layer of ‘drawing’ on the quilts surface.
When composing a quilt I rarely adhere to a set plan, relying instead on improvisation. Remindful of color field painting, I begin my work with a feeling, place, or theme. Looking to reconstruct my world, I employ aerial views, photographic documentation, and artifacts- all the while aware that my goal is far more complex than the visual of a single point in time. The moments I choose to replicate are unique to me, and simultaneously innumerable in the lives of others.
Like so many women before her, my maternal grandmother planned a collaborative quilt to celebrate my birth, and introduced me to the art of quilting. My work continues a family tradition, but congruently incorporates new information from varied quilting traditions, and my multidisciplinary training in art. Often inspired by painters, I feel an artistic connection with Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, Mark Bradford, Julie Mehretu, Cy Twombly, Agnes Martin, William Kentridge, El Anatsui, Do Ho Suh, the quilts of Gee’s Bend, and the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi.
http://www.heidiparkes.com/about-page-wip Viewed 30 August 2020
http://www.heidiparkes.com/gallery#/i-know-the-stars-are-there-beyond-the-clouds-2/ Viewed 30 August 2020
Still looking for my “companions” for my honours project. This woman’s practice is quilt making in an art context. And on the side she also does visible mending for money. A great idea.
I think the difference from traditional quilters here is in the statement above. Heidi seems to be approaching her quilt making from a art perspective. She is connecting herself to artists in other disciplines and is putting content into her work via the imagery and the medium in the way of artists. She approaches stitch as a means of drawing and cloth as a means of painting and collaging.