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 Danna Ruth Harvey  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: Texas      Known for: fabric landscape, mixed media

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
From Texas, Donna Harvey creates abstract landscapes described as atmospheric collages from materials she finds in second-hand shops. She uses fabrics from vintage dresses, bedding, etc. and combines them into recognizable images.

Of her work, she says: "I am trying to convey the idea of change---that things change over time and still have value.

Editors, 'Artists to Watch', "Southwest Art", May 2004

Biography from a third party submitted on 12/31/2010:
Paint and Cloth

My paintings are simply about arranging form and positioning elements to express emotion.  I choose the landscape genre because historically it offers a workable pretext to convey human experience allegorically.  Treescapes in particular lend themselves to such a reading.  The vertical tree and stand figure analogy subtle opportunities to communicate feeling.

I do not intend my landscapes to reference actual geographical locations, but instead, I want them to evoke a different reality - our emotions. T o do this I sometimes blur the boundaries between traditional representational landscape and symbolic abstraction.

Making art is all about recognizing and expressing particular sensibilities.  I think this beautifully explained in Agnes Martin’s writings. “You must find your way. You must discover the art work that you like and realize the response that you make to it.”  The elements and materials in my paintings are chosen with her advice in mind.  I am developing an awareness of what I love and respond to .  In my work I am seeking to reconcile two loves - paint and cloth.

The paintings are sometimes composed of deconstructed and recycled clothing.  The cloth and threads are pieced together into new patterns.  I love the stitches, stains, and holes that remain in the cloth.  I respect and appreciate the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi.  It teaches that beauty can be coaxed out of ugliness.  As I work on a piece, it changes with each additional layer.  I “worry” the cloth, fray the threads, cut and sew the edges, and add pieces to the borders.  And finally, embedding the cloth and threads in wax is a method of preserving and metaphorically a way of remembering.

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