Patricia Gillespie, Sharp Sticks

After the Bright Darkness reception at Swee(t)art Drawing Gallery last month, Patricia and I and a bunch of others ended up drinking at the Missouri Lounge and I realized how much fun she is: friendly and gregarious. I don’t have any good pictures at all from that time at the Missouri, they are all fuzzy, like we were. The pictures below are from when, a week earlier I had stopped by H Julien Designs up on Shattuck, just as her show was closing.

Incorporating upholstry juxtaposed with hypergraphic elements addressing domestic issues, Patricia Gillespie’s work breaks new ground and is a refreshingly unique voice in East Bay art.

Obi: How did you start the sewing motif/upholstry-thing in your art?
Patricia: Well, I have a background in a lot of different types of art- graphics, painting, film, art directing, set design, display/installations… just to name a few. I must say, I am a bit of a tinkerer (is that a word?). I really like the materials that I use in this work, they are accessible and they really work well together. Intially, I knew that I wanted to use fabric, but also do a bit of redefining of what quilting or textiles are typically used for and what is tradtionally considered “women’s work”. I decided to create even more dimension with a bit of wood working by cutting out the figures and text. Finally, I add my rather dry (and sometimes cynical) sense of humor, and it came together.

Obi: How do you come up with your bright color palette?
Patricia: Oooooo, I have this thing for humming and vibrating colors.

Obi: What work are you working on now after your H Julien show?

Patricia: I’m gearing up for the group show Worship of Water at the Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery in October. So, I am digging getting back to drawing (tinker tinker).
Also, I am working on my latest series The Shrine of the Graces (I had a few pieces in the show at H Julien). They are shrines based on the Greek Mythological Graces, the Graces are not unlike the Muses, those girls are always busy inspiring other folks and I wondered what might inspire them. Of course I am maintaining the irony and humor I always have. They are a slight departure from the quilted pieces, though I’m still using fabric and wood, I have developed pieces that are more sculptural and include additional elements such as branches, live plants, and cut paper to complete each shrine installation.

Visit Patricia’s work online at her website

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