Explore Fiber is a collaborative website showcasing and exploring fiber as a fine art material.
Lisa Covert is a fiber artist, dyer and bookbinder in Dallas, TX. Her work ranges from fiber paintings to installations to handmade books to sculptures. She is currently making paintings and three-dimensional art using shibori techniques in mixed media, encompassing wet and dry felting; various dyeing techniques; found objects from nature; and strokes and textures made from a variety of fibers.
I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception of her latest installation, Water Works, that is on display at the gallery in the Texas Discovery Gardens, at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Dallas. The show opened 4/20/2017 and runs until 8/27/2017. Here is the Artist Statement about the installation:
For this series of hand-dyed paintings, I explored a multi-step process of combining ice and indigo dying with shibori techniques.
Shibori is a method from the 8th century Japan that manipulates cloth to resist dye. Shibori is contemplative. Using repetition in its techniques builds intricacies and textures. Binding, stitching, folding, twisting, pleating, pressing, wrapping and coiling result in different patterns. These techniques are combined to achieve unlimited textures and patterns. The American version, tie dye, uses some of these techniques.
Ice dying gives a unique watercolor effect. Ice dyeing is as it sounds, putting cloth in a vessel, covering it with ice and then spooning on dye powder. The melting ice wets the dye, causing it to flow in any direction onto the cloth, and in some cases, break apart into separate colors.
Using color theory and grain tests to see what colors make up each individual dye, I work on controlling as much of an uncontrollable process as possible. Many paintings in this series use a dye combination of the three primary colors: red, blue and yellow.
Indigo is my personal symbol for water. I use a thirty gallon indigo vat in the final dye step. I dye the paintings multiple times in an additive process to achieve the desired color intensity.
I am fascinated by the changing and fluid aspects of water. From a beach in Hawaii to a stream in Puerta Vallarta, I am captivated by the changing colors and textures of water.
The way the water flows depends on its location and designation. The way water is so dependent on its surroundings and the forces exerted on it just to be seen. The way it changes color depending on its environments. It is clear, but reflects all. Sunlight on water. Currents on water. Water on water. Rocks, coral, sand, humans. What water reveals and how it changes what it reveals.
I capture water using water techniques. I use water in all three of its phases: ice, water and steam in my art.
I describe the complexities of water in two environments: ocean and river. How to describe and differentiate the aspects of water in these two different surroundings? What shibori techniques can I learn and use that will evoke attributes of water?
I take the colors of oceans and rivers for my two palettes. Ocean is cool colors – blues, greens, purples, turquoises. The river is greens, bronzes and golds. Both palettes are interlaced and unified with indigo.
If you are in the DFW area, it is worth the visit to see these beautiful fiber pieces in person! Or, if you have visitors from out of town, come see the exhibit, then enjoy a visit in the butterfly garden! It will be a visit inspired and grounded in nature.