“Patch Worked Series”
The act of sewing colors of fabric together to create pattern is an old and worthy act traditionally done by women out of necessity- some say a “labor of love” to keep families warm when they sleep. I have always been attracted to patch work maybe because my mother is a quilter and I grew up surrounded by color and pattern. As a child I remember making projects of 9-square patch work pillows and I also took needlepoint lessons. The act of arranging color into patterns is my passion. I am most influenced by the African-American tradition of multiple pattern quilts. The quilts are usually divided into blocks of a repeat pattern; however each block is uniquely interpreted and rarely contains straight lines. These quilts exemplify the West African principle of protective multiple patterning. Evil spirits would have to decode the complex mixture of many patterns before they could do any harm to the user. The idea of a physical quilt used for spiritual protection has influenced me greatly.
“Patch Worked” is an ongoing series of work that explores and celebrates color and pattern created from an everyday object. I paint brown paper, cut it and sew it back together in interpretive unique patterns. I use recycled paper bags because it is a way to recycle the paper and “make something from nothing” a theme that has inspired my art making. This work is a contemporary look at the traditional craft of patchwork.
My paper balls are a reflection and influence of Japanese culture and an appreciation of a simple object made beautiful. In Japan paper is a national treasure. Many objects, especially those for children, are made from paper like kites, fans, and even paper balloons. Paper is temporary material that brings play and beauty to one’s life.
Leslie Ulrich's work will be shown along with pieces by glass artists Scott Darlington and Patricia Davidson August 8th - October 7th.