Jane B Graham

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Pattern as a Context for Conveying Meaning

Women's Work II, 24 x 36

Every year, for the last six years, I have had the great fortune to travel to Ghana and help women design batik fabric that is ultimately sold all over the world through the fair trade organization, Global Mamas. These trips have had a profound impact on me both as an artist and as a human being. Even when my artwork is not directly about Ghana, it reflects the influence of pattern making and the role I play as a fabric designer. The patterns that I see and design have started to take on a life of their own.

My artwork begins with a pattern, either one that I have designed for fabric or one that inspires me.  Most recently, I have been struck by curvilinear, fluid and almost lifelike forms found on the walls of the Alhambra, the Moorish Palace in Granada, Spain. These decorative motifs have essentially become the canvas for my art. Using cut paper and acrylic paints and working on wooden panels often set up as a triptych, I use them as an inspiration for telling a story. As I examine and reconfigure these designs, I am inspired by the forms found within the positive and negative spaces. It is within these spaces that I can delve into new meanings, real or imagined.

For a larger view click on the image

Tales of the Alhambra, 10 x 30

Hiermonyous Bosch Visits the Alhambra, 36 x 36
Stretch, 6 x18
If These Walls Could Speak, 24 x 72
Helicopter Parents, 24 x 36

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