Each of my Steam Punk pieces begins with temporary musical insanity. When I’m immersed in a piece, the regular music playlist becomes a single song on a loop, then maybe just a phrase as I sift through images and racks of clothing for scraps of memory to use.
For the most impressionable of my impressionable years, my mother ran a record store in an isolated Northern town. Because she had a lifelong love of all things musical and an apparently boundless enthusiasm for new styles, the punk music was the soundtrack of my days. I roamed free range through the store, practicing reading from liner notes and rearranging the vinyl in the racks according to my artistic tastes of the day. Album art and concert stills an indelible backdrop to so many rites of passage.
The lyrical language that I soaked in gave me the vocabulary that I would need after she died much too young. The well meaning hospitality and murmured condolences offered by women of the community did nothing for an angry pre-teen who already chafed at the isolation of the small town.
In its day, crazy quilting was considered rebellious, rejecting the traditional patterns and symmetry of the time, the creative freedom that it allowed was a danger to both health and home! In the same spirit, I use salvaged fabrics and embellishments to recall the songs that taught me that a wall of noise could drown out the murmur of tea and comfort when needed. I hope that my work allows the viewer to recall and reconnect with the music that gave them permission to scream and flail and stomp when they needed to.