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Piper Shepard

My work evidences processes that mark time. For over a decade I have cut cloth into lace-like, filigree patterns. The textiles produced can be either highly structured or intuitive, but always reflect the mark of a human hand.
As an artist who honors both tradition and methodology, I am inspired by the rich and complex topography of lace. It is at once feminine, seductive, prim, and technically astounding. While I do not make lace in a traditional sense, I do seek to achieve the intensity of handwork in the sources that inspire my process.  To cut by hand is not only a kind of drawing, but a way to acknowledge and reflect upon the history of my medium, textiles. 

My work explores the physical tolerance and qualities of cloth---cloth as skin or membrane, with the capacity to absorb and sustain both history and memory. It also considers how cloth has functioned at an architectural capacity, that is, to divide, protect, separate and ornament space.

I seek to link cloth analogies (that of delicacy and fragility) with the patterning of historical sources and natural phenomena, which speak of such qualities. Textiles, as objects we interact with daily, seem the most appropriate way to convey these
ideas. By cutting whole cloth into lace-like, arterial structures, I hope to elicit qualities of a most ephemeral nature. Pushing cloth to a fragile threshold amplifies its physical qualities.

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Piper ShepardOnly Their Silhouettes, Handcut muslin, gesso, graphite, 8' x 8', 2015

Click on the image above for a high-resolution version of this picture.

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