DAWN WILLIAMS BOYD
Little things inspire my work. A sentence in a book, a snatch of song, a conversation with my children, people-watching as I sit at a red light or perhaps a personal memory that resurfaces. Any of these simple moments will stimulate an 'art flash' that results in a painting or piece of sculpture. Having the idea is the easy part. Communicating that idea as a visual piece of art is the challenge.
I have worked in many mediums - from oils on canvas to acrylics on corrugated cardboard and distressed plywood to polymer-based clay. The subjects that interest me - African American history and culture, issues of identity, women and sexuality - and the style in which I render my work – mostly representative and figurative, though the occasional abstract will sneak its way in - have remained constant over my 30 year career.
Currently, I paint using cloth as my pigment. In 2002 I began to integrate my skills as a painter in oils and acrylics with my love of richly colored and textured fabrics to make 'cloth paintings'. Creating with textiles is an ancient art form found in every human culture from Africa to Europe and Asia to the New World. I have taken advantage of that rich history and applied it to a modern visual storytelling technique, using quilting, embroidery, beading and other surface applications and embellishments.
My fiber work takes between 250 - 500 hours per piece to complete from sketch to signature. I hope that viewers will appreciate the artistry of my work, the attention to detail and the high level of craftsmanship and execution. Like most artists I want the viewer to stand back and allow the emotions incumbent in the art to sweep over them, but I also want that viewer to see my work up close, to lean in and let the story of the making unfold.