Vervet Noir


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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    My earliest memory is of rough cobblestones warmed by sunlight. The memory is overlaid with a scent of baking pastry. If I close my eyes I can feel the air, hear the sounds, and recognize the scents of all seven US States and eight countries which I have called home. It has been a tactile journey, and one where welcoming smiles and departing tears have always made me feel loved. Vervet Noir is my platform to explore the kaleidoscope of images and stories that fill my heart. Using a Paul Poiret inspired cocoon shape for the garment, I fill the shawl collar surface with exquisite embroidery and embroidered poems or stories that evoke a memory. While I began by threading my own story, the stories of our times are pulling me forward. As I gain confidence with my creative process, more collaborations and new perspectives are on my wish list. What’s your story?

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: My work begins with memory, a story, a poem, or (especially recently) a moment of outrage. I begin to experiment with images and fabrics that either reflect the writing or contrast with the message. After I have settled on a garment shape, message, and chosen the images, I begin the digitizing for the images. The embroidery follows, both the images and the written message. And then I construct, using mill-end fabrics, found fabrics, and fabrics collected from my extensive travels.

    A: I truly feel blessed to have lived my life surrounded by a multitude of cultures and the generosity I encountered. Not just the generosity of goods, but the generosity of spirit; opening of hearts and telling of stories. Those stories, freely given, form a foundation for what I am attempting to create with my garments; we all have a story, we all wrap ourselves in garments that reflect our inner souls. With my garments, can I touch that heart-nerve that makes a person think about their story?

    A: I frequently intentionally contrast the story with the images. The images might be gentle and delicate, but the words strong. I love the little surprised "oh!" people make when they take time to read the story.

    A: The idea for a coat swirls around in my mind for ages before the images and words find each other; I'm wondrously delighted each and every time when the two elements collide!

    A: Paul Poiret is my greatest creative influence, because of his exquisite work and his courage to explore new garments shapes, liberating the fabric and let it be felt and flow around a woman’s body. And while I may use digitizing and an embroidery machine, I give homage to the centuries of hand embroidery work that decorates garments around the globe. A more immediate influence would have to be my mother, who always believed in me and thought anything I created was equal to the more celebrated designers of the world; while she has passed on to the stars, I still hear her affirming voice in my heart.

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