Karen Chapnick   Fibre Work

February 5, 1983 - February 27, 1983

I call my pieces fibre paintings. This is because what I am primarily interested in is the creation of colour illusions. To allow the viewer to concentrate on colour, I construct a relatively flat, rectangular surface by interlocking braids of fibre. Of course, size, texture, and composition are all important elements, but the decisions I make about these aspects of each piece really free me, in a sense, to concentrate on my greatest passion which is colour.

By controlling method and order of braiding sisal fibres, I can orchestrate my hand-dyed colour as they move across the surface of a piece. The compositions are sometimes vigorous and boldly patterned, for example when strong diagonals emphasize the colour and flow and create a highly charged energetic feeling. Other pieces are more elusive. The viewer must look closely to allow a pattern to emerge from the shifting, shimmering surface. The viewer will not fully experience the piece without looking for a length of time and at varying distances.

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