February 2016: Phoebe McFee & Carolyn Hazel Drake
Phoebe McFee is a weaver of tapestries. She has been weaving since 1967, when she was 23 years old. “Early on I fell in love with tapestry. Now I am in my 70’s, and have never stopped weaving. For 40 years, I focused on large tapestries, mostly on commission. My images based on the structure of weaving come from this time.” In 2004, she began to draw on the computer. Recent small tapestries woven in Portland have all come from computer drawings. Translating the vivid colors into yarns is new and delightful to her. Phoebe also has begun to weave words into her images. “I’ll see where that takes me. I am still evolving, still finding new things to say in warp and weft.”
Carolyn Hazel Drake’s sculpture is usually a mix of porcelain and textiles, references the natural world and man-made devotional objects. Her recent work continues to explore the vessel, now in the form of the boat as a close cousin to the humble (but always evocative) pinch pot. “In response to a series of personal losses, I have been looking to ancient art that honors or tries to contextualize death. Greek tragedies and elegiac writing are also frequent source materials. The boat appears as an element of burial or transport to the underworld/afterlife in many cultural traditions. It speaks to the very human combination of longing and fear for what is beyond the horizon. I love the immediacy of pinching, and I try to balance conceptual and expressive complexity with the seductive materiality of clay and cloth.