Martha Cole - Cygnus Spiral Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy

Cygnus Spiral Arm was a piece done quite early on in my career.  It was part of an exhibition all based on night skies, which are quite dominant here without all the city lights to interfere.  When you do very realist work, and my work often has quite a realist base to it, a comment that I often get it is it looks just like a painting.  Well, it’s not a painting, it’s fabric.  And I wanted to do an exhibition of work where you never forgot for a minute that it was fabric.  So I started doing night skies.  I started putting in things like rhinestones, I started doing a lot of stitching on the pieces that really did look like drawings but was obviously stitched, and added grids – I added all the graphs and the grids that are often part of the astronomical images that I was referencing for that show.  All in an attempt to distance it from a traditional painting.  I was using a lot of the scientific research and the images from the satellites to give me the references for the work and often my work has that kind of a research base to it.  Over time that research base has become less important and I am relying more directly my visual experience of it, but there is always some kind of a deeper base to the work than just the visual that you are seeing.

Duration: 2:03 min
Size: 9031kb

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