“My fiber sculptures honor the integrity of traditional cloth in a contemporary setting, placing them in a 3 dimensional element.” – Barbara Riegel Bend
As a fiber artist I am drawn to the rich heritage of cloth and the story it tells through its content, color, design, and cultural history. I work with fabrics that have their own integrity and voice. In my fiber sculptures I explore the interplay of cross cultural fabrics stitched side by side with a reconfiguration of contemporary ‘throw away items’ that in their new form share the pattern, color or texture but not the history. I look to these contemporary items, such as snaps, perm rollers, zippers, for their design elements and ability to attach and repeat thus creating a rhythmic pattern to sew on to these fiber sculptures.
My fiber sculpture forms are internally supported by welded scrap metal, fencing or electrical wire structures. The shape is built up by tightly wrapped strips of knit t-shirts. The result is a firm and sturdy sculpture that is self supporting with a solid form. My fiber sculptures flare out with movement to help express the energy of the moment expressed.