Nancy Belfer , Structures and Passages I, c. 2008; Mixed media wall quilt, 31 x 64 inches; Purchased with funds from John and Carol Kociela, 2014
In 2014, Structures and Passages I was part of an exhibition icalled Affinities: Nancy Belfer at Indigo Art in Buffalo that demonstrated the range of two- and three-dimensional textile work that she created in the past thirty years. The Burchfield Penney Art Center lent one of its five works for the exhibition. This work represents techniques and a composition that is different than other holdings. About this series, Nancy Belfer stated:
Over the years I have often come back to ways of working which have been challenging in the past to explore new ideas and experiment with previously untried variations or combinations, leading to new ideas, new expressive forms. My work in textiles and mixed media has always been deeply rooted in the rich potential of process, centered on activities which are serious and purposeful, yet allowing for the unpredictable to play a part.
When working with discharge techniques, particularly clamp resists, I have always been fascinated with the subtle, irregular markings left on the cloth where the ties or clamps have not been made as tightly as possible. They are like stains from some mysterious ink brushwork with gradations that can never be duplicated exactly. In areas where the clamped circle or square is firm, the resulting shape is perfectly clear. The surrounding folds and ties, with lighter resists, result in gradations.
The idea of obtaining imagery on fabric by tightly clamping folded fabric between two aligned, solid shapes (wood squares, plastic circles, etc.) came from a simplification of an Asian technique I encountered in my research.