ArtNook: Susan Dillon, Fabric Artist
Susan’s work explores quilting and fiber arts in two and three dimensions. When Susan creates a new piece, an initial detail or verbal phrase sparks an exploration of the materials. Through her manipulation of the materials, Susan allows their characteristics to lead her through a process of discovery. The resulting piece is often a surprise, even to Susan. Her work features recurring iconography, often feminine; dresses, houses, nests & birds.
I took the opportunity to visit Susan in her studio space at GRACe. The visual language of Susan’s work really comes alive in her studio, where delicate lace and silky thread are juxtaposed with elk bones and rusty gears, among other eclectic found objects and materials, all within an arm’s length. I learned about Susan’s former career as a hat maker, and met the chickens who reside at GRACe and provide the artist community with fresh eggs. Susan discussed her materials with unabated enthusiasm, eager to show her rainbow collections of thread, shelves of fabric, boxes of bones, and jars of metal doodads. Her studio is a uniquely joyful space. It was likewise inspiring to visit GRACe again, after seeing Nicholas Emery’s studio there, to get a greater sense of the community as a nurturing space for resident artists.
The ArtNook display includes three pieces from Susan. “Dervish II: Urban Corridor,” a circular art quilt, and “Lure” and “Dwell,” two shrine assemblages. Come on by to see them in person – photos don’t do proper justice to all the magical little details and textures.