Patricia Dunn’s Statement
“Aren’t we, after all, stardust.” Series of three tapestries. 2012-2015
Stardust Synchronicity, inspiration! At a Mexican beach campground I picked up a well worn magazine with an article about Margaret Burbidge, astrophysicist. There I learned of the theory developed by her and two colleagues, that we, and all things animate and inanimate, are composed of stardust. Ah, a tapestry designed to express stardust and motifs that appear in my work, all of which were inspired in synchronistic moments. They are: the Fibonacci sequence — a talk at the Handweavers Guild of Boulder, CO in the 80s; the silhouette – seen in the work of Ana Mendieta in an exhibition at the Museo del Arte Moderno, Monterrey, MX; and the concept of the quincunx – while reading about its use and presence in Mayan cosmology. I do not remember when curiosity and investigation about opposites — masculine and feminine energies, and complementary colors — became a focus in my work. Perhaps always.
In “We are, after all, Stardust no. 1 and 2” the silk and wool yarns were dyed with the yellow to violet gradation and the opposites of the masculine and feminine silhouettes are adjoined in No. 1 and separated in No. 2. In No. 3 the stardust flecks are an orange woven into the blue. The silhouette is androgynous, the masculine, a green, and the feminine, a red. The Fibonacci sequence is revealed in dominant and sub dominate color pattern and with the linen warp braids on the right side. From a poem of Kabir (1440-1538?), an Indian weaver and poet (translated by Robert Bly), another synchronicity: “There is a Secret One inside us, / the planets in all the galaxies / pass through his hands like beads.” Stardust
Patricia Dunn’s Biography
Threads! Grandmothers, mother, aunts, friends, neighbors knitting and sewing, all around. . .a distinct memory of working looms seen on a class field trip to the Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown, NY. Later, visits to weavers in New Mexico, both Rio Grande and Navajo. My husband’s love for Navajo rugs with two in our home. Knitting. Telling my father that when I retired I wanted to learn to spin. He and my mother gifted me a Louet spinning wheel long before the hypothetical retirement. Boulder, CO, about an hour’s drive from my mountain home, spinning lessons and membership in the Handweavers’ Guild where I took advantage of many workshops like dyeing, color theory, weaving notably from Peter Collingwood. Enchanted with the work of a tapestry artist there, I swore, not me. Always, knitting, dyeing handspun, designing sweaters. Art classes at a nearby community college and suddenly I wanted to ‘paint’ with my dyed yarns. Weaving with more than one color across. . .discontinuous weft. Tapestry!
My tapestries have been in many juried collective shows, both fiber and mixed media, in the United States and México. My work has had individual shows in Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí, MX. My tapestries and copper wire and silk thread sculptures are in private, public and commercial collections and spaces.
I grew up on a dairy farm in New York state, attended college in New York and Colorado, where I married and raised our children. My husband and I make our home in Zacatecas, MX, where we have lived since 1998. And yes, here is a region rich in Saltillo style rug and tapestry weaving.