Richard Elliott

96” x 42” x 6”
Xerographic transparencies, eyelets, Plexi wall support

Human/Nature (detail)
96” x 42” x 6”
Xerographic transparencies, eyelets, Plexi wall support

PERCOLATORS (a la Chihuly), detail
1985 MFA (Textile Arts) John F. Kennedy University/Fiberworks Center for the Textile Arts, Berkeley, CA
Richard Elliott has taught a variety of surface design, hand-constructed textiles, fiber art and structural sculpture courses at the California College of Arts and Craft, Oakland, CA; University of California at Davis; College of Marin, Kentfield, CA; The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was Visiting Artist in the Fiber Department from 1993-1996; Columbia College, Chicago, IL; the Textile Arts Centre, Chicago, IL, and the California State Summer School for the Arts.

He served as a California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence at Creative Growth Art Center for developmentally challenged adults in Oakland, CA, from 1989-1992, and has been a guest artist, lecturer and juror at several colleges and art centers in the Bay Area, Illinois and Colorado. His mixed media work has been exhibited nationwide in galleries and alternative spaces, such as Alcatraz Island Prison, and has appeared in such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle, Artweek, Fiberarts and American Craft magazines.

Stemming from my background and teaching career in textile arts, my work employs simple, sometimes crudely rendered images, patterns and textures as surface imagery on three-dimensional container forms, as well as two-dimensional wall pieces made of layered, translucent tracing paper.

While several pieces incorporate a sense of humor or pay homage, with satirical flattery, to other contemporary artists, other series focus on rather mundane, overlooked patterns and the context of their references.

Patterns of human identification, such as fingerprints, chromosomes, DNA and teeth may be combined with microscopic cellular and fiber structures, heart monitor graphs, and even bar codes in works commenting on the socio-politicized body/vessel and the human condition. These images, along with patterns found inside "security" envelopes or on fabrics, form the basis of my visual vocabulary for investigating and communicating sophisticated networks and systems, common to us all.

Photocopies of photographs, drawings, materials and computer-generated images are altered, layered and visually "softened" through xerographic transfer processes applied to paper. The paper itself is also treated as a "fabric" through a layering process which creates a parchment or skin-like material with a textured surface and a haptic quality appealing to our sense of touch.

It can take many years before one realizes some very basic, innate premise for the reason that particular images or shapes hold one's interest and appear over and over again (sometimes disguised) in one's work. It has taken most of my life to embrace the simple revelation that I have always been enthralled by the patterns and textures I happen upon in my daily life and research. The pattern of cracks in asphalt, tree bark, leaf skeletons, spots on a seashell, the network of loops in a crocheted shawl or the interlacement of a basket, wrinkles in skin or clusters of microscopic blood cells are some of the visual stimuli that continue to engage me and further expand my image library.

Linear structures and groupings of shapes inform and construct our environment, the ways we move through it and the ways we operate to organize time, materials and information by hand or with a computer. We plan, graph, measure, mark, count, build, schedule, record, read, write, fabricate, all based on repeated linear pattern variations or similar systems. However, we take for granted our intricate, interconnected bodily systems of vessels, cells and fluids enabling our lungs to breathe, our hearts to beat, our blood to flow and our organs to perform their multi-layered, magnificent functions. It is the rhythmic beauty of some of these systemic patterns that I wish for others to notice.

previous artist next artist


Contact us at:

Copyright ©2010 FiberScene