Buddhist literature talks about the constant chatter of jumping thoughts in our minds as “monkey mind.” Continuum is a series of digital woven collages that map the mental activities of my mind during one year. Just as thoughts loop, certain imagery is found again and again in the series. Overlapping images of the mathematical calculations used to convert digital imagery into physical threads, repetitive counting, symbols and diagrams of daily activities, and glimpses of nature are some of the phenomena that fill both my head and these canvases. Meditation is one way to calm the mind, even if the chatter never fully ceases. Looking at the sky or ocean, or contemplating a perspective so big that ones ego becomes insignificant can also bring quiet.
The process of weaving takes hundreds of individual threads, and combines them into a cohesive plane. It is the perfect metaphor for how we build our lives from multiple identities and interests into a singular personality. Weaving doesn’t always yield narratives, but in my work, the resulting combination of images and words reveal my propensity towards storytelling. Things come together and separate, find harmony and friction, spaciousness and crowding. Sky becomes water and water becomes sky; the names of places travelled and lived create a map of the world; and from a cacophony of experiences insight is born.
Artist Bio / CV
I am a visual artist, known for narrative work that spans the technological spectrum of weaving. I am one of the pioneers of digital work in weaving and have co-authored the definitive book on the topic (The Woven Pixel: Designing for Jacquard and Dobby Looms Using Photoshop® by Alice Schlein and Bhakti Ziek). I have shown extensively since 1980, and have works in the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. I have also lectured and taught throughout the United States and abroad; and have published articles on contemporary fiber in many journals. I am a former college professor (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Arizona State University, University of Kansas and Philadelphia University), but now focus full-time on my studio work. I have a M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a B.F.A. from the University of Kansas, and a B.A. from SUNY at Stony Brook.