I have been a fiber artist for 40 years, using and adapting well-practiced basket-making skills. My materials include silk and cotton fabrics, archival paper, wire, sand, thread, buttons, encaustic wax, and acrylic paints and mediums. I work intuitively, the colors and textures of the materials informing the vessels I create.
These vessels symbolically refer to women's bodies as containers of shared experiences and individual stories, which shape and hold the content of their lives. They speak of the importance of the women in my life, of their strengths and sorrows, their growth and joys.
My craft-development work with women in Africa has had a profound influence on my art and on my life. I have learned to simplify, to let the forms and the materials speak for themselves.
As a result, I feel a collaboration with the work, and a dialogue emerges as I develop each piece. Each of my vessels can stand alone or be joined with others in support and unity, as a community of "women." As with actual women, each one has a story to share, a role in the world.
- Jackie Abrams