Bigindicator

Melissa Leandro

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20140212024734-01_leandro_m
Paz (Peace), 2013 Mercerized Cotton. Braided Tapestry Warp on Woven Fabric. Braid Made Up of 1320 Threads in a 6 Color Rotation of Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Black, White. 28"X26"
20140212024825-02_leandro_m
De nuevo (Again), 2013 Jacquard Weaving, Mercerized Cotton. Based Off Original Drawing. 27.5"x26"
20140212025034-03_leandro_m_copy
While I walk no.4, 2013 Jacquard Weaving, Mercerized Cotton. Based Off Original Drawing. 19.5"x 26.5"
20140212025151-03_leandro_m
Smug Face, 2013 Cotton. Black Wool Roving Stitched on Woven Fabric, Double Weave. 15"x20"
20140212031046-04_leandro_m
Untitled, 2013 Gradient Stitch on Jacquard Woven Fabric. 6.5"x27"
20140212025257-06_leandro_m
Arriba o hacia abajo? (Up or down?), 2013 Jacquard Weaving, Mercerized Cotton. Based Off Original Drawing. 10.5"x26.5"
20140212025414-05_leandro_m
Camino (Walk), 2013 Jacquard Weaving, Mercerized Cotton. Based Off Original Drawing. 42"x28"
20140212025457-07_leandro_m
Explosión locales, 2013 Synthetic Fabric. Dye Transfer Through Heat, Sewn Manipulation With Gradient Thread. 23.5" X 26.5"
20140212030825-08_leandro_m
Explosión locales, 2013 Synthetic Fabric.dye Transfer Through Heat, Sewn Manipulation With Gradient Thread. 23.5" X 26.5"
20140212025542-10_leandro_m
Palacio de los Jugos, 2013 Synthetic Fabric. Dye Transfer Through Heat, Sewn Manipulation With Gradient Thread. 23.5" X 26.5"
20140212030101-09_leandro_m
Palmers, 2013 Dyed and Heat Pressed Synthetic Batting,heat Set, Appliquéd Fabric, Free Form Stitching With Yellow and Black Sewing Thread. 36"x36"
20140212030215-13_leandro_m
Round about no.1, 2013 Gradient Machine Stitching on Woven Fabric. Shibori Process. 10"x10"
20140212030303-16_leandro_m
Round about no.2, 2013 Gradient Machine Stitching on Woven Fabric. Shibori Process. 10"x10"
20140212030401-11_leandro_m
Reina (Queen), 2013 Hand Woven Synthetic Cloth,plastic,rubber. Heat Pressed. Machine Stitching Over Woven Layers. Top Layer Cut Away in Specific Areas. 14.5"X21"
20140212030449-12_leando_m
Reina (Queen), 2013 Hand Woven Synthetic Cloth,plastic,rubber. Heat Pressed. Machine Stitching Over Woven Layers. Top Layer Cut Away in Specific Areas. 14.5"X21"
20140212032708-dkiwl
Dale Chica, Move it girl, 2013 Woven Textile, Synthetic. Machine Stitching. 17"X36"
20140212030550-14_leandro_m
Crieda (Wanna be), 2013 Woven Cloth,plastic,rubber. Heat Pressed. Gradient Machine Stitching Over Woven Layers. 15.5"X22"
20140212030707-15_leandro_m
Crieda (Wanna be), 2013 Woven Cloth,plastic,rubber. Heat Pressed. Gradient Machine Stitching Over Woven Layers. 15.5"X22"
20140212031306-untitled
Untitled, 2013 Hand Woven Fabric With Gradient Stitching 21"x17"
20140212031520-untitled_detail2
Untitled, 2013 Hand Woven Fabric With Gradient Stitching 21"x17"
Quick Facts
Birthplace
Miami, Florida
Birth year
1989
Lives in
Chicago
Works in
Chicago
Schools
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2012, BFA Fiber Material Studies
Ox- Bow school, 2011, Paper Making course
New World School of the Arts, 2008, Highschool
Tags
fiber, fiber and material, fiber arts, abstract, sculpture, installation
Artist Statement
In an attempt to return to the pastoral ways, I re-hatch childhood memories, family emblems, histories, and domestic gender roles of females that I then knew to be true but have since come to question. I explore these ideas in my work through a series of mark making, a collection of symbols and landmark images. I use this inventory of images in ways that move across medias of painting, drawing, and textiles. 

As a bilingual woman, language is a very important part of my practice. Spanglish is very much real, and plays a large role in how I navigate my vocabulary in my work, both with and without words. To parallel the disparity of English and Spanish, I intuitively overlay contrasting materials, like birthday balloons and dyed cotton, and find unlikely combinations of process. I weave before I melt, then I stitch and dye, to then cut and stitch. The results are fictitious landscapes that lead me out of my current reality, and form a means of escape to a world of my own creation. It is in the making of this world that I’ve begun to learn my language as an artist.

At the heart of this language is a relationship between old world techniques and new world technology. As one that experiences language as the warp and weft of a mixed culture, I see this investigation as the most worthwhile pursuit. 

The investigation process often begins with a 4”x6” pen drawing that I convert into a digital file composed of weave patterns for each color and line type. This file is woven on the jacquard and takes final shape as a tapestry. When I am hand-weaving material like plastic, rubber, felt, paper, and foam, these woven strips are fused together through heat, allowing me to machine stitch over a more rigid surface. The final step is to cut away fragments of the top layers, exposing the multiple stages of the weaving. Similarly, I paint on paper with dyes and then use heat to transfer the color onto fabric or other synthetic materials. I then go back in, and machine stitch over the painting with sewing thread, changing color every few inches. Repetitive stitches act as drawn lines moving in several directions and attempt to merge with other groups of lines and simply disappear, or go around in endless circles. The work emphasizes the layering of materials and process.