DINAH SARGEANT: Painted Threads/Narrative Dolls and Quilts, a one-person exhibition, is on view at The Folk Tree gallery from April 25 – May 23, 2009. A reception for the artist is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, from 2 – 6 P.M. Sargeant, a resident of Newhall, California, has been exhibiting her fiber pieces since the early 1990s. She works outside of traditional quilt and doll genres, instead creating fabric and thread stories that have the painterly and expressive qualities of fine art.
Sargeants says her approach is like that of a collage artist. She often uses raw edges and exposed stitching. “Each doll starts with a word, a string of words or a concept. With painted fabric and threads, I collage their voices together and send them out into the world…The colors and imagery are an invitation for the viewer to step into another world and wander.” Her journals and drawings offer further inspiration.
All her work begins with paint and some kind of white fabric. She usually starts with white cotton but sometimes uses silk or velvet. Using fabric paint and resist, she applies the colors very loosely, without any idea of where they will take her. She enjoys the flow of colors and the way they mix and find a place on the fabric. When the layers are dry and heat set, she hangs the panels up to look at and contemplate. It is at this juncture that the stories come out of the paint and a quilt or doll begins to take shape.
The artist states, “There is always a lot of dream time involved in my work, and in order to stay focused on the story’s power, I usually work on one piece at a time.”
Sargeant’s work has been exhibited in national and international shows and included in several touring collections. She was the recipient of the Friends of Fiber Arts International Award for her work in "Quilt Visions 2008" at the Oceanside Museum (November 2008 -March 2009). She also won a Juror’s Award Merit for “Quilt National ’05.” In March of 2007, her work was included in “The Art of Quilting,” a PBS program. Most recently her work has been included in exhibitions at Spruill Gallery, Atlanta, GA (2008); Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY (2007, Lintault Award); Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ (2007); Santa Barbara Historical Museum, CA (2006), among many others.
Her work has been published in “The Art Quilt: Quilt Visions 2006;” “Quilt National 2005: The Best of Contemporary Quilts” (Lark Books, 2005), on-line and in several others publications.
She received her MA in Painting at Chico State University, California in 1975.