Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Hands On: Rebecca Atwood

Like the previously mentioned artist, Sarah Hinckley, Rebecca Atwood is a highly creative woman who grew up on Cape Cod but is now based in Brooklyn. With a BFA in painting from RISD, Atwood has a refined eye -- and deft hand -- both of which are evident in her locally produced textiles.

[Photos above and directly below by Nicole Franzen via Atwood]
Looking at her hand-dyed and hand-painted pillows, it's clear that she appreciates centuries-old techniques that fall under the shibori umbrella, as well as the very graphic early-20th-century designs by pioneers like Sonia Delaunay that we saw in Color Moves.

I wanted to learn more about Atwood's influences. She kindly took time to answer a few questions and, coincidentally, a couple of her responses dovetail nicely with past posts here at SC (along with related videos), so I've linked accordingly below.

[Atwood's hand-painted Blue Leaves]

SC: Favorite textile book?

RA: I love Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing – this is the book I've used to teach myself many techniques. I don't have my own copy of The Quilts of Gee's Bend, but I love it! Definitely on my wish list. A few other books I love include: Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa, Hue by Kelly Wearstler, and The Perfectly Imperfect Home.

SC: Auburn University offers a great Gee's Bend microsite, BTW. So, Rebecca, which museum collection inspires you most?

RA: I love the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. I haven't been since I moved to New York, and haven't yet seen the collection [installed in the new building on Benjamin Franklin Parkway] but it was amazing to see the art in the old house. I especially loved seeing [Dr. Barnes's unorthodox ensembles], paintings by Matisse, mixed with Pennsylvania Dutch decorative arts pieces, metalwork and more. Highly recommend!

[Design B53, by Sonia Delaunay (French, born Russia, 1885–1979)
France, 1924, Gouache on paper, Private collection © L & M SERVICES B.V. The Hague 20100623 

SC: Artists in history who've informed aspects of your work?

 [Photo by Ryan Donnell. © 2012 The Barnes Foundation.] 

RA: Oh, there are so many! Matisse, again, Sonia Delaunay, and Agnes Martin are just a few who spring to mind.

SC: Everyone, see Rebecca's Martin-esque pieces here, and check out some connections between Delaunay and the Freedom Quilting Bee here.

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