Heather Allen Hietala's Gallery
On the Way: sashiko stitched hand dyed coton and silk, textile ink, overlay of silk-silver cloth, embroidery image - 11" x 14" framed Sold
About this Gallery
For years the staircase has been my muse. Stairs that I encounter are sketched in my journals and then a select few have a special resonance and inspire a piece. Once the piece is begun, it takes on a life or a story of it's own. As I respond to the process, a dialogue develops between the piece and me. The stairs allude to a journey, becoming metaphors for expressing various paths, transitions, and thresholds within life's experiences. This work draws on the viewer's intimate involvement with steps and portals to elicit feelings and personal interpretations. Similarly, a boat symbolizes a journey and a vessel can symbolize self. The vessel is a metaphor of interior and exterior, of containment, of transport and journey, and as a tool like the boat or tatting shuttle, with the ability to create. It is both universal and personal. These vessels are enigmatic being boat pod shapes or pod tool shapes or tool vessel shapes. The vessel and boats allow me a vehicle to investigate new ideas, narratives and relationships. As I entered my 40's, death and marriage shifted my focus. No longer "alone," the work explores relationships and inter-relationships between individual pieces, their materials, forms and ideas. I am interested in duality and the idea of two (or more) things that are intrinsically bound together, made by the same hand. Created separately, individual pieces are presented in pairs or groupings that strengthen and highlight this sense of similarity and contrast. A dialogue is created by the contrast of 2D and 3D, of male and female, of clay and cloth, of hard and soft, of line and form. The negative spaces and shadows enter into the dialogue, extending the pieces and representing the unsaid between individuals or spiritual world. The 3D pieces are designed for the wall and the pedestal allowing them different expressions or personalities. It is my goal that in presenting different groupings and installations, provocative relationships and dialogues are created.