Sandy cherishes order and elegance and family. Her home is always ready for the photographers from House Beautiful to drop by for a shoot. She identifies her compulsive tidiness dismissively as OCD. Protected and pampered by her loving husband for over 60 years, she struggled and rose to the challenge when his melanoma and cancer treatment-induced type 1 diabetes overcame his strength. Her husband’s death and her reluctant choice to move to a retirement community caused her to come close to unraveling. Constant support from her three children and her own determination have kept her stitched together, however.
Sea Urchin Basket
What can you make with 100 pieces of the same object? A basket, of course.
Pain Containment Pod No. 3 : Right Shoulder
Any physical therapist will tell you shoulder pain is the worst to deal with. The skeletal-muscular structures are so complex, and the joint so necessary for everyday life, let alone the creative life. I haven’t let my repeated bouts of shoulder impingement stop me from working, though I probably should rest more. Now that I know I have a torn tendon I plan to pause work than demands a lot of strength.
Ship of Dreams
Take a journey into the realms of the imagination on this ethereal vessel. Will you sail to the spirit world? Perhaps it will take you to your favorite haven.
Spirit House - Air
This Spirit House can be many things: a resting spot for the spirit, with the familiar elements providing orientation and sustenance;
We are a little blue since our children moved out. We were fortunate to spend much more time with them at this stage of their lives than we would have normally, because of the pandemic. There is a ray of sunshine piercing the sadness, though, as we all move onto new adventures. Materials: old checks, old address labels, membership cards & IDs, gouache, glue Techniques: rolling, folding, random weave, painting, gluing
A collabortive installation with Laurie Bogdan at the Hapgood Wright Town Forest as part of the 2021 Art Ramble. Living most of her life below the surface of the water, the dragonfly transitions into a being of the air at adulthood. With her agile flight and iridescent wings, she appears to be a miniscule dragon inhabiting the realms of the fairies, such as Fairyland Pond in the Hapgood-Wright Town Forest. In many cultures, the dragonfly symbolizes change or transformation. One could view this ethereal creature as a messenger who encourages us to molt off the negativity that holds us back, and to fly forth to achieve our goals and dreams.
An installation at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA, created with Laurie Bogdan.
Motility front view
Weird things surface in my imagination, floating up from memories of images seen in books long ago, or from another universe I visited in my dreams. Motility is an imaginary marine lifeform that inhabits a warm ocean. It swims leisurely, luring its prey with its colorful tendrils, hoping they will reach its cherry orifice.
Materials: fiber rush, unryu paper, acrylic paint and medium, vinyl tubing, produce netting, glue
Despair bursts forth, uncontained. I feel caught, netted, in the tangles of my emotions. 380,000 dead (and counting) in the U.S. A. from the covid-19 pandemic, racial injustice and violence, climate change, white supremacy, voter suppression, so many lies, unemployment, recession, and wildfires – how can anyone be expected to contain their despair over these situations? Yet we ought to look closely to see them for what they are. Repetitive tasks such as crochet, netting and twining are soothing, meditative, they keep my fingers occupied and my eyes away from the news. I feel better now.
Sanctuary invites you to imagine yourself in a special place hidden in the forest where you can retreat from daily cares, immerse yourself in natural beauty, and replenish your soul. Received the 6 Bridges Gallery Award in January 2021.
Collaboration with Laurie Bogdan for 2020 Art Ramble in Concord, MA Materials: nylon rope, fused plastic bags, Tyvek, acrylic paint, garden stakes
view from west
Pain Containment Pod #2: Left Foot
I’ve been living with persistent pain from an assortment of causes for most of my life. I am not alone. Most of us experience pain intermittently, some of us bear with it regularly and others survive it incessantly. We all witness it. Whatever its source, whether physical, psychological or metaphysical, pain is dangerous, debilitating, draining, depressing. Wouldn’t life be so much better if we could only grab onto pain, remove it from the place it is causing suffering and contain it safely away? That’s what I am attempting to do with Pain Containment Pod #1: Right Knee and Pain Containment Pod #2: Left Foot
Pain Containment Pod # 2: Left Foot
Materials: fiber splint, fiber rush, kinesiology tape, medical tape, hemp cord, artificial sinew, wire, fiber-reactive dye, acrylic paint, plastic arch support from orthotic, Icy Hot applicator, naproxen sodium, turmeric capsules, acetaminophen, acupuncture needles. 2020, 11" h x 12" w x 15" d
Pain Containment Pod #1: Right Knee
Materials: hand-dyed reed and bamboo skewers, elastic resistance bands, acrylic paint, glucosamine chondroitin, naproxen sodium, pill bottles, ginger tea wrappers, turmeric capsules, elastic bandage, hypodermic syringe. 2019, 16" h x 12" w x 11" d
Pain Containment Pod #1: Right Knee, back
A Walk by the River
Created as part of a group work called “Out for a Walk” with four other artists for an exhibit of touchable art, “A Walk by the River” expresses my delight in the natural world using basketry techniques and materials. My goal was to produce a work in vivid colors and textures that illustrates the serenity as well as the vitality and movement of trees and water. I hope you want to touch this work. It’s okay, go ahead and touch it!
A Walk by the River, detail
Hand-dyed flat oval, round, and oval oval reed, waxed thread, 2018, 52"h x 35" w x 8"d
Joys and Sorrows
So many of my memories are entwined with the nature sanctuary Habitat in Belmont, MA. My fiancé and I fell in love with this place and chose to wed there under the cherry tree in the formal garden. It was May and its pink blossoms were at their height. I like to remember it as a perfect day, but like all memories, it has unraveled a little, like the strips of fabric from my gown. I don’t mind this, I am happy with the fluidity of memories. Let them sway and tangle and untangle. The beauty of Habitat and the happy memories I started there have lured me to visit regularly. The tranquility I have found there has also provided comfort for many sorrows, large and small, that inevitably come with living. Hovering near the trunk are the dangling ghosts of those who are no longer present in my physical life. Yet each flower is a joy. Materials: reed, twigs, roots, prunings, ribbon, yarn, strips from my wedding dress, paint 22" w x 20" d x 18" h 2017
Fecundity playfully represents a bursting basketry seedpod heavy with paper pulp seeds. I began this piece as a technical exercise to see what would come of combining multiple basket bases. As the work progressed it decided to become a seedpod. Nature has long been inspiration to me, so it wasn't surprising to have this piece take a natural form. Fiber rush, unryu paper, flat reed, paper pulp, acrylic medium, 2018, 17" w x 14" d x 12" h
I began this work in response to the Pussyhat movement and refined it in response to the #MeToo movement. The cathead basket is an elegant vessel containing the shock, fear and anger I experienced during and after the 2016 election. I was gratified by the outpouring of solidarity among women, which continued with the #MeToo movement. Yet I felt unconscious pressure to join this movement. Not all women are ready to share their experiences of violation with the worldwide audience. For some the abuse is too fresh, too painful to reveal. Women need not sacrifice their privacy and mental health to further an important movement. And that’s all I’m going to say. Twill-plaited, painted paper cathead basket with rolled rim and silk cover embellished with dimensional silk vulva and ribbons and painted phrases. 2018, 10" w x 12" d x 9" h