8. URI Library, 80 Washington Street
Sharon St. Hilaire
About the artist and the work
I paint with yarn, creating minimalist works with bold color and texture. Each painting is composed of thousands of crochet stitches. Crocheting allows me to create texture and - my tactile designs are compelling statements of simplicity and complexity at the same time. Each strand is then precisely fixed onto a substrate. I call my technique, “Repeté” with the creation of each single stitch becoming a mantra for the mind and hand. The color field is broken by textured patterns created by the manipulation of that one stitch. So, like the single blade of grass in nature, the single crocheted stitch is insignificant, but in mass makes a powerful statement.
My art represents my quest for control, for quiet and for solemnity. What would seen like minimalism at first glance, is upon close scrutiny actually complexity created by near compulsiveness. The meditation on the single stitch is randomly broken by multiples of the stitch. It is just as when the random thought interrupts the mantra. It is an imperfect process so that some pieces are more the failure of quiet. My goal is to express what lies beneath, to transcend. I try that and fail in most of my life but with my art I am able to appear to be in control.
My original inspiration came from seeing a yarn painting by a Huichol Indian from Mexico. My first works copied their technique of embedding yarn into hot wax to create abstract works. Eventually I moved from wax to glue and from single strands of yarn to crocheted strips. All of the works start as a drawing translated into a crocheting pattern.