Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Debra Smith

Shifting Meditation #2,  2015, pieced vintage silk, 14.5 x 14.5 inches

About the Work
In my recent series, Shifting Territory, I am focusing on gestural motions and the graphic aspects of my work. The foundation of the series comes from my collection of vintage kimono fabric and striped silk (deadstock originally intended to line suits) which I discovered in the Garment District of New York City 20 years ago.

I approach fabric as poetic language and reinterpret the painterly through my meditative process. I cut, piece, and meticulously fuse two layers of fabric capturing the translucent quality of the kimono and silk. Within my work I believe I am breaking all stereotypes associated with textiles, from ideas of craft to that of “women’s work”. Though I am not a poet or someone who draws, I feel that my use of vintage textiles as a medium brings a history, a weight, a poetry to the work before I even begin to cut, sew and piece the material back together. Through meticulous construction I infuse the work with air, movement and depth. Expressing an emotion or a moment in time, I find the end result similar to drawing, poetry and painting.

Shifting Meditation #7, 2015, pieced vintage silk, 14.5 x 14.5 inches 

About the Artist
Debra Smith was born in Kansas City in 1971 and raised in Hannibal, Missouri. Pursuing her interest in fashion and textiles, Debra Smith studied at the Italian Academy of Fashion & Design, Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy, before receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute with a major in Fiber in 1993 and an Associate Degree in Applied Science from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2002. In 2012 Smith was honored as one of the Women to Watch 2012: Focus on Fiber & Textiles from The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Smith's work has been shown internationally over the past two decades, including solo and group exhibitions: The Thread You Follow, Daum Museum, Sedalia, Missouri; New American Paintings: Elmhurst Art Museum, Midwest Edition, Elmhurst, Illinois; Rijswijk Textile Biennial, Rijswijk Museum, The Netherlands; Look & Listen, DUSK, Saint Chamas, France; Spring Revival, Markel Fine Art, New York City; Release of Time, Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, and In-between Spaces/ New Work, Roswell Museum & Art Center, Roswell, New Mexico; Looking to The Left, Julie Saul Gallery, New York City; Sense of Presence, Davidson Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.