Denise Sokolsky

As a child I accompanied my mother on her countless shopping trips for clothing and shoes. She had exquisite, expensive taste but on a limited budget. We visited shops such as Boston’s famous Filene’s Basement, which specialized in goods from fashion houses and upscale retail outlets around the country. These elegant designs were made of expensive materials and constructed with unusual and intricate details, but for some reason were considered ‘seconds’. The garments may have had a broken zipper, a ripped seam, or some sort of mark on them. My mother would decide if the garment was salvageable and worth the repair effort before purchasing. Unbeknownst to her, I was her young apprentice in this study of textiles, clothing design, fabric manipulation and even color theory.

Through the ensuing years I found ways to use and augment this knowledge in my creative endeavors. I still love walking into a fabric shop and being transported by luxurious silks, imported nubby wools or even just plain white cotton or silk. I cut, dye, paint and manipulate these fabrics with machine and hand stitching.

In the past several years my work has become mostly about color, translucency and the complexity of wholeness – fragments that I loosely merge together to become one. I manipulate materials to achieve a play of light through layers of sheer fabric, Mylar, or open weave structures to create multidimensional surfaces. The tension between these textural elements of surface and transparency becomes a visual dichotomy of strength and fragility.