In making my work, I look through the eyes of a second generation Canadian/Latvian and consider the issues of shifting identities and living in divided cultures. Problems of loss of culture, tradition, as well as the instability of identity and memory have been major preoccupations in my work. I see both the portrait and textile / text patterns as holders of specific cultural information. My use of textile patterns as metaphor in portrait images, is an attempt to explore and express the instability of identity. In these pieces it is my goal to have the portrait and the pattern interweave, emerging, erasing, disrupting and re-defining the personality.
In my most recent work, I use a computer to simplify family and found photographs. I then weave the designed cloth using a digital Jacquard handloom. These pieces are woven totally in white. However, I also weave in a coloured shibori thread that I pull tightly, to create a resist, before I dye the work. After dyeing, I remove the shibori thread and the full portrait with the colour and pattern is revealed.
Another Kind of Silence
, 2008. 69” x 36”, Hand woven on a digital jacquard loom, woven shibori cotton, polyester. Text by Ruth Hadlow. “The Unstable Process of Translation” From: Paul Sharrad & Anne Collett, Reinventing Textiles: vol. #3: Postcolonialism and Creativity
, Telos Art Publishing, England, 1999, pg. 32