Image: Loma Prieta #1, 1989. Donna Monroe
From 14 November, the RioBravoFineArt® Gallery, New Mexico, will show an exhibition of the work of local textile artist Donna Monroe, curated by Susan A. Christie. Monroe, now 82, has lived in the in the quaint desert town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico since 2002. She says, “Hot mineral springs, the Rio Grande river and wide-open spaces drew me here. What I discovered and have enjoyed for many years now is a fabulous community of fellow artists, spiritual seekers and an atmosphere which allows for and encourages undistracted creativity.”
Image: Bygones. 42" High x 40" Circumference, Crocheted Doilies, Plaster Bird, Mannequin Base. Donna Monroe
Monroe works with mainly found materials in an eclectic variety of categories, primarily but not exclusively fabric hangings, totem figures, assemblages, collages and altered books. She explains, “My hunting skills have been honed to a fine art while pawing through second-hand clothing, fabrics, beads, yarns, rusted metal, and fanciful objects found at local thrift stores, yard sales and on many rambles on desert trails. This kind of reuse and upcycling gives me fits of pleasure and excitement.” An early influence was Kaffe Fassett and his colourful work in fabric, knitting, needlepoint, patchwork, painting and mosaic. Monroe has two degrees in photography from the University of California (UC Santa Cruz), Santa Cruz. Early photographs to be shown in the exhibition include people, plants, family garments with a focus on the contrast between light and shadow. Monroe often used her daughter in her photographs.
Image: Girl on a Ladder with Calla Lilies, Donna Monroe.
Monroe’s home in Truth or Consequences is a rambling building with plenty of room for living and her studio. Her studio is filled with shelves of fabrics, drawers of embroidery floss organized into colorways, buttons, laces, collected bits and pieces from thrift stores and other browsed locations. Portfolios, folders, and cabinets hold years of her history. Flat tables hold an array of materials, works in progress, scissors, sewing machine, threads, needles and more. On the walls are works in some stage of development. Curator Susan A. Christie says, “She said that often pieces went up and down for some time as they were slowly worked on and inspiration struck with a found piece to be included.”
For more information visit www.riobravofineartgallery.com