Often, we tend to shy away from the difficult, the dirty, the potentially hurtful. If we allow ourselves time to reflect on a weathered iron grate or the peeling paint of a gritty wall, we may find a new appreciation of things often overlooked. If we venture past the sharp, dangerous edges of a razor wire fence, or the menacing barbs meant to keep us out, a plush courtyard of hidden delight may be our reward. Even in the darkest moments of our lives, there is beauty to be found; but only if we continue to look. If we allow ourselves to feel the painful emotions, to experience the loss, to face what disturbs us, we may find solace. There is comfort in being uncomfortable. In life, all answers are not evident — some things remain hidden while others are revealed. We must continue to explore to find the softness.
I intend to cause the viewer some discomfort but ultimately seek balance. Quilts evoke feelings of comfort, home and family. Though my subject matter and imagery may explore hard edges or uncomfortable feelings, I seek to balance this through the use of soft media — quilts and cloth.
I draw inspiration from personal experiences, and in particular, the city of New Orleans. Sometimes my work results purely from a place of play and exploration. I am intrigued by surface design techniques, producing cloth yardage intended to be exhibited whole. Growing up in a family that made and used quilts for warmth, I developed an affinity for traditional quilt design. I am also a lover of abstract design. I am sometimes drawn to the use of illegible text — meaningful words related to the subject matter that are intended to be obscured and unreadable. Not everything need be revealed; sometimes the pleasure is in the search.
Kevin Womack is a textile artist living in Lynchburg, Virginia. While majoring in the sciences at James Madison University, he satisfied his strong interest in the arts by including several elective art courses as part of his studies. Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and went to work in the IT field. He continued his artist pursuits, exploring photography, metals/jewelry, pottery and oil painting in community art classes.
In 1986, Kevin was introduced to quilting by his maternal grandmother. Having always loved the legacy of family quilts, he decided to have her teach him the tradition. While his interest in other media has waned, his passion for fiber has endured.
Over the years, Kevin studied with many accomplished textile artists and developed a love for hand dyeing and patterning fabrics with surface design techniques. His experiments produce a line of unique fabrics and clothing that he exhibits and sells.
Kevin’s artwork and quilts have been exhibited at several local and regional shows. His recent collaborative work with artist Eleanor McCain was selected for inclusion in the Quilt National ‘13 exhibition and Quilt Visions Biennial 2014. In addition to his fabric business, Kevin teaches and lectures nationally.