artist statement

Christina Fairley Erickson original wild style

Wearing vintage clothing as part of my early ‘style’ in 1980’s ©2017 Christina Fairley Erickson

I’ve lived an unconventional life. I designed and made costume clothing for rock n’ roll musicians and fans. I’ve studied marine biology, becoming a rescue diver and assisted teaching scuba diving. I’ve developed websites from creating the images through writing the computer code. The rebel in me was once expressed by wearing ahead-of-the-times outrageous costumes and vintage clothing.

My strong, bold style shattered when I lost my first child at birth and in grief I found my well of creativity dry. Shortly after this, I found comfort and a separate safe outlet for my creativity through quilting. I quickly veered away from traditional quilts and towards contemporary art pieces made of cloth. Textiles have played a significant role in my life, both in through giving me an independent provocative way of interacting with the world and providing a means of solace to help me reenter the world after it fell apart.

Christina Fairley Erickson with weavers from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

Christina on a Guatemalan textile tour with weavers from Lake Atitlan.

I am particularly drawn to representational art work. An avid photographer, I use my personal photography to spark my ideas. Traveling extensively, I like recreating the scenes and feelings from the places I’ve visited. My hope is that my artwork will capture the spirit of a place and the commonality we share with diverse people around the globe.

The natural world of plants and animals inspires me daily. I’ve always been drawn to animals and my love of horses and dogs is often reflected in my work.  Trying to embody the feelings shared between people and those they care about, whether man or beast, is one of my greatest challenges. When working in my studio, I experience myself authentically, rather than as one of the many roles in life which we all have to play.

I make the majority of my work from both cotton and silk fabrics which I hand-dye. The dyes often form a base layer on which I build additional levels of design for the piece, using paints, ink, and most importantly, stitch. I make my own silk screens, stencils and print blocks to incorporate these additional elements. At times, I’ll add in my digital photographs, which I print on fabric. I may also create specific fabrics for different parts of my design, and then piece them together. Another method, pointillism, uses tiny pieces of different colored fabrics. I encapsulate these mini points of color with a sheer fabric forming them into a finished image. The final portion on my work is to add stitching, sometimes quite densely over the piece, with multiple thread types either by hand or by machine.

Thank-you for your time and interest!

Christina Fairley Erickson