Using the ancient medium of handwoven tapestry, I am exploring the sensual, female form. My “Burlesque Series” explores and portrays female sexuality and femininity from my perspective as a burlesque and belly dancer. Combining my passion for dance with my love of tapestry design and weaving I am creating a series intended to challenge the observer with complex, and often contradictory, societal views of women.
My earliest tapestries expressed my fascination with the human face. After several years of exploring the face, I expanded my weaving to include the full figure. This decision propelled me to weave larger than life portraits as you will see in Amandaconda and Pas de Deux for example. In these works not only the size of the portrait is enlarged but the sett of the warp as well, almost pixilating my subject with each bead of the weft as it covers the warp. These portraits are literally, poetically, and metaphysically LARGER than LIFE to heighten the emotion and drama. I also love weaving small, intimate figures as seen in many of my works.
My work is driven by my fascination with the human face and form, in part because I grew up surrounded by my mother’s collection of masks and sculpture. The philosopher Emmanuel Levinas believed that looking at other people’s faces was how we learned to be human. Every face we meet, he thought, reminds us that we share the world with people who are fundamentally like us but who are also, like us, irreducibly unique.
The pulled warp corsets express my fascination with the ways people have distorted their bodies in the name of beauty and art. Along with the obvious binding and constriction of corsets the imagery tells a story which is hinted at by the title.