Wednesday, February 10, 2010

- - -Sewing- -Snapshots- -With- -Thread- - -

Click any image for larger view... you’ll definitely want to!

Click any image for larger view

Click any image for larger view

MANY OF YOU KNOW THAT I COLLECT SNAPSHOTS. I have seen snapshots that have been cut and glued to other surfaces, snapshots that have been painted and altered, transferred to other surfaces, and held pristine as objects—but never sewed on. My friend Robert Jackson, a collector of snapshots, told me about the work of Jane Deschner. Jane’s work is a powerful blend of word and image, and from my vantage point within this field, unique.

Learn more about Jane Deschner’s work here.

Artist Statement:
“For over twenty-five years, I have utilized found photographic images in my artmaking—found on magazine pages, they were the material of cut-and-paste photomontages. During graduate school, I became fascinated with vernacular photography, especially in its most ubiquitous (and human) form, the snapshot. Since 2001, I have collected, studied and altered early- to mid- twentieth century snapshots and studio portraits, press and movie photographs—worked to uncover what this rich repository can teach about our essential humanity. I’ve created over a dozen series, more than five hundred artworks. When we look at snapshots that are two, three and four generations old, what is immediately obvious is what has changed. But, when we look into them—we discover what has remained constant. We are reminded of how we are to one another.”

“I’m aging and my maternal side wants to pass on what I’ve learned. I want to moralize about accountability, acceptance, love, honesty, compassion, integrity, authenticity, gratitude and generosity. I appropriate and integrate the found photographs of strangers with the embroidered words of the famous.”

“Sewing binds photographs together; embroidery inscribes a quote. Stitching by hand into these photos both destroys and mends. I puncture and suture, wound and heal, simultaneously. It is an intimate activity, meditative and, sometimes, physically painful because of the tedium of the activity and the osteoarthritis in my thumb joints. I connect with generations before me.”

“Creating garments from stitched-together snapshots, “wearable-photo-albums,” is a recent direction. I craft a narrative in the snapshots I choose, sometimes enhanced by an embroidered quote or image. The garment is a metaphor for ways we identify ourselves, as we do in the photographs we choose to take. Our photos, our clothes—what we shed when we pass on.”

“We all snap photos of people and things we love and times we want to remember. In a studio, we hire a professional to immortalize us looking our best. When I alter a photograph’s original intent and appearance, the viewer is invited to deduce, speculate and fantasize. There are many ways to appreciate ourselves in the common photograph—even those of people, places and times we never knew.


Elizabeth said...

You made me the happiest girl by telling and showing these pieces of art. For me it is very inspirational to see. Thank you so much.

Lynn Lunger said...


So wonderfully done. I especially like the wedding portrait with the Pooh quote. The stitch color changing to match the background...just wonderful.

I have to admit that my first instinct was a slight cringe at the use of actual old photographs. Closer inspection brought admiration. A lesser artist would not have elevated the technique to the level of respect and love shown here.

C'est La Vie said...

wow, these are so great!

Jane Waggoner Deschner said...

Thanks for your good comments. I'm glad it shows that I respect and honor the anonymous people whose photos I embroider into. Making the work can be a profound experience. I hope it gets some to look as these amazing documents/artifacts differently.
I really appreciate everyone looking and commenting.

Albert said...

This is wonderful. I own two small albums, both of African American families, where there is some sort of stitching or sewing onto newspaper and the album page. They are from the 40's and I had not seen another example until now. I love your work Jane. Really inspiring.

Arthur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arthur said...

Damn comment didn't work properly, thanks for the post was really interesting!

canvas art print

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