For me the pictorial space of the quilt is a place to connect the naturalistic with the symbolic. Often in nature I see forms and forces which resonate with my own physical being and emotions. I transform my sketches into pattern motifs which change as they repeat. Typically I work with one or two shapes, plus the spaces in between, to create what I like to call, “patterned narratives.” Their stories are told in a language of repetition and symmetry. In the regenerative power of pattern I find visual metaphors for the regenerative power of life.
I work in a textile medium because of the sheer beauty of colors on silk.
I dye my own colors, then apply layers of dye using resists, silkscreen printing, discharges, hand-painting and digital ink jet printing. I sew the silk into pieced compositions by hand. When a work is complete, the richly-colored, slightly dimensional patterned surface creates an aesthetic different from that of painting. The decorative beauty of the materials is a vital part of the meaning.
Nancy Whittington studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA) and NCSU College of Design (MAD). She learned the art of sewing from her mother. Her silk art quilts have been exhibited in museums in the United States and abroad including, Museé des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, the Gulbenkian in Lisbon, and Museé des Arts Decoratifs in Lausanne, Danish Museum of Decorative Art in Copenhagen; Pavillon Josephine in Strasbourg; “Quilt National” 2011, 2007, 2005 and 1987 in Ohio, “Fabric Gardens” in Osaka, Japan and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden; “Visions, The Art of the Quilt,” in San Diego, and “Southern Quilts: A New View” at the Georgia Museum of Art.