1500 Jackson Street Northeast
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I work best when I create with the materials that come my way and I have gleaned an abundance of zippers and beautiful fabrics over the years. When many small manufacturing companies went out of business, I bought a random assortment of zippers in bulk which prompted people to give me bags of used and unused zippers. In time more opportunities for materials came: 8000 men’s ties, a car load of wool fabric, boxes of men’s shirting and silk tie fabric. The materials I use all have their own journey and story, which then becomes part of the visual and verbal texture of the sculptures I create.
I build substantial structures by tightly wrapping strips of discarded knits around a welded steel armature creating a solid form that I can hand stitch to and a structure that can withstand the weight of the materials I gather. The fabric quality is key and the other materials must have the ability to connect and repeat thus losing their identity in movement and the texture they create.
My work reflects our human ability to connect through whimsy, archetypes, legends, love and raw expression. My process is a response to environmental pressures, I create pieces that have their own story that is often unveiled as I work. I am driven by a passion to reflect the voice of the fabrics, to acknowledge the integrity of common things that no longer have a meaningful use in our culture, and to tell a visual story through the sculptural movement they form.
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Barbara Bend takes commissions.
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