So during the studio visit on Friday with the students one of the current grads kindly gave me her card to check out her work and wow, I am so glad she did. Michelle Dickson's work is so very cool and unique.
She uses the textures, patterns, and properties of fiber to make moody, provocative, and gorgeous prints and wall installation/drawings. By combining techniques of printing, rubbing, drawing, and sewing Michelle makes some truly lovely work.
I most prefer her larger scale installations, especially the ones that use lace patterns. When I was using printmaking a few years back a lot I would often roll a piece of lace through the press embossing the texture into the paper. Lately I have been thinking a lot about that technique and Michelle has me thinking even more about is as a technique full of endless possibilities.
Michelle's artist statement says:
Paul Ricoeur says memory defines itself as a struggle against forgetting. The use of text, the imprint of fabric, and ghostly impressions refer to traces of memory and thought. The physical erasing and covering of these traces represent the concept of forgetting as both something to be desired and feared...Use of repetitive imagery and obsessive mark making functions to entrap the viewer in intricacy, in a pattern that can never be unraveled. The importance of repetition is directly related to theories of psychological trauma and schema theory. The repetition of a single phrase written in tiny, almost unreadable text speaks to the re-experiencing of traumatic memory. The phrase becomes a mantra, but it is personal and exclusive. It is not important to decipher what the text says or means. No specific personal references are made in order to leave room for the viewer to use the work as a starting point to reconnect with their own experiences and memories