I am intrigued by the love/hate relationship between modern technology and the natural environment. Lip service is given to the natural world while technology bulldozes through the environment both literally and figuratively.
Technology fractures our natural landscape. The highway system weaves across the environment, dissecting natural areas and habitats. In the paper weavings Pease Bypass, Fragmented Ribbons of Highway and Rte 1 Underpass, images are cut apart and woven back together but not always in a perfect fit. These bypasses and overpasses bridge the road but may not reconnect the areas that were divided.
In the paper weaving The Trees were Wrapped in Cellophane, I have included the quote from a program on the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. The hand written words are woven into the forest image. Chernobyl area tree images stand starkly in the foreground as an ostrich struts across the front. Can we continue to ignore what we do to the environment?
As a tapestry weaver I find paper weavings a fascinating outgrowth of the medium. The interlacing of images provides infinite variations in color, theme and texture. Tapestry is a very labor-intensive process; the paper weavings are woven sketches, providing a new perspective.
Weaving together contrasting images and colors, the combined piece changes, as development irrevocably alters the environment.
About the Artist
Suzanne Pretty was born in Malden, Massachusetts, and attended the Massachusetts College of Art, where she earned a BFA in Painting and Illustration. After graduation, she began working in fiber with quilted pieces called stuffed paintings, which were exhibited in the Boston area. These fiber pieces gradually evolved into tapestry, in which she created the actual fabric of the piece, thread by thread.
Pretty has been a weaver and a member of the prestigious League of New Hampshire Craftsmen for over 26 years. She worked as a production weaver selling scarves, shawls, blankets, rugs and place mats through the League shops before deciding to concentrate on tapestry in 1987.
Pretty has exhibited nationally and her work has been included in a number of publications. She is a two time Artist Fellow, awarded by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and has won numerous awards, the most recent of which was in Craft National 2006, at the Lancaster Museum of Art in Lancaster, PA.
Active in the tapestry community, Pretty is a founding member of the Tapestry Weavers in New England, the owner of Emporium Framing and Gallery in South Berwick, Maine, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Tapestry Alliance.