I am a textile/mixed media artist, schooled from an early age in art galleries, museums, and landscapes of the U.S. and Australia. Working in textiles began as a practical matter in 2010—because painting with five teenagers in the house just wasn’t one of my superpowers! I quickly came to think of fabrics as an expansive and adventurous palette of color, patterns, and textures, and the ‘making’ process adapts to interruptions very well.
The turning point in my artwork came one winter afternoon when I found myself sitting on my back stoop, staring at snow and a bare dogwood tree. Its branches were symmetrical, rising like arms in triumph. And I thought quietly: That tree has a lot of attitude. Against the white backdrop, she reminded me of a model at a photoshoot. And models need—dresses.
This idea developed into my primary body of work called Portraits of Women as Trees. To create these pieces, I print digital images on cotton or silk, then add transparent fabrics (e.g., silk or poly organza) and use layering and stitching to create illusions of dimension and movement.
Today, many of my photographs are the basis of studies of nature that—through the action of the natural elements—have serendipitously revealed a figurative component.
I use digital photography in combination with textiles to create layered narratives about identity, relationships, and culture.
Transparency, layering, collage, distortions, and reflections are my vocabulary for exploring discrepancies between what is seen and what is under the surface and for creating metaphors for the ways objective and subjective experience ‘live together.’
My work has shown at the annual Yellow Springs Art Show (Chester Springs PA), The Boyer Gallery (Pottstown PA) and juried into prestigious fiber art shows such as: Art Quilt Elements at the Wayne Art Center (Wayne, PA), Quilts=Art=Quilts at the Schweinfurth Art Center (Albany, NY),
Sacred Threads (Herndon, VA), Textiles in Translation (Penn College Williamsport, PA), and others.
More examples of my work and related projects may be seen on my website www.libbycerulloart.com. I share my experiments and WIP on Instagram @libbycerullotextileart. You can also find articles about the inspiration and techniques of Portraits of Women as Trees and (My) Seven Modern Sins in Art Quilting Studio, Spring, 2021 and Winter 2022, respectively (Stampington & Co).
If you would like to discuss a commission or talk about how fashion, trees, neuroscience, and medical device R&D have influenced my art, please feel free to contact me! I would love to hear from you.