2. 191 Westminster Street

Deborah Baronas

Mill Culture

Oil on canvas, fabric dye on silk and cotton

About the Work

The intent behind the making of these paintings is to promote the historic awareness of the textile mills in southern New England and the community of workers who settled here. It addresses the historical significance and the contemporary use of the mill complexes of the region. Today the mills are about building reuse, conserving existing buildings and neighborhoods instead of sprawling into new land outside town centers.
The conservation of this ”embodied” energy that went into the building in the first place is further enhanced as these paintings will aid in remembering the spirit of the workers also within that structure. Using imagery of the mill workers is significant in understanding the complete culture of the textile industry in our region. The consequence of the rise and fall of this industry in our area is far- reaching and ongoing. It weaves through all socio economic levels within the mill culture. By incorporating textiles into the painting, I am able to add another dimension to illustrate my emotional response to the subject. Textiles become a vehicle for transposing shadows and light into pattern that effect or are derived from the landscape. Borrowing from the iconography of the mill technology as well as the workers creates pattern that acts as a filter through which we look at the mill landscape. Growing up in Western MA, I graduated in Textile Design from RISD and worked in the textile industry in this country and abroad before its migration overseas. This project stirs my desire to study and record my interpretation of the evolution of the mill village culture and textile industry. These works are part of an ongoing series of investigations.

About the Artist

Deborah Baronas graduated from RISD in Textile Design and worked in the textile industry in the United States and Europe from 1979 – 2003. Currently she works as an artist and designer out of her studio in Warren, RI.

No comments: