Robin’s metal quilts began after bike trips through Massachusetts and Vermont. Along the route, she noticed many closed factories, which resulted in a loss of jobs and income. She also noticed the signs “Quilts for Sale,” which inspired the combination of waste material with the “feminine” art of quilting. Robin uses found colored metal from automotive pieces, signage, gutters, and other industrial scraps, cuts them by hand, and sews them together with colored wires.
Jackie’s work plays with the contrast between the visual and the tactile, hard and soft, masculine and feminine. Her work involves finding the feminine in the pattern of a saw blade, a traditionally “masculine” object. Robin draws on her Armenian heritage and the significance of carpet to “inspire through patterns and shapes, and to symbolize identity, domesticity, femininity and security, examining and questioning those characteristics along the way.” She uses carpet and other common materials to represent her everyday life, “in the same way certain patterns, styles and colors represent the weaver of an oriental carpet.” These objects create a movement between masculine and feminine, hard and soft.
Adam Viens work uses raw materials to create metaphors that discuss psychological and philosophical questions. He combines the visual language of imagery with the symbolic language of mathematics—two ways of making sense of and quantifying the world. About his process of finding materials, Adam says that some materials inspire certain pieces when he finds them, while sometimes the work dictates what materials he uses. About his work he says, “much like the interpretation of a dream, one must first find their bearings in order for relationships, themes, and motifs to become apparent. If one attempts to greedily ascertain meaning in a glance they will be left with only the stale taste of formalism.” The layers of material become a metaphor for relationships to the surrounding world, in an attempt to transcend the mundane function of the object by transforming it into a visual language. Thus, a tension exists between the physicality of the materials, and the esoteric realm of meaning that emerges from their combining.
Peter Waite’s work presents the viewer with a space both familiar and yet haunting. His spaces are mysterious and quiet, and evoke both personal and social memory. He says the viewer may not have seen the specific space that he paints, but might have encountered a similar space in their life. Peter has been painting these large scale paintings for over 25 years. They are real visits to real places, and “sites of the built environment that embody public sentiment or ideological concerns.” The absence of the figure in his work is intentional: “I have intentionally omitted the figure from the representation to emphasize the viewer’s participation as witness to the moment of perceiving, then remembering, these architectural spaces.”
A seemingly contrasting or contradictory element in his paintings is the fluorescent paint, which ultimately speaks of layers of perception and experience and introduces movement into the stillness of the scene. Waite also describes fluorescent as the 21st century color, as if these paintings are a memorial to the changing spaces around us.