Oh, so excited for today's contribution to the blog series, Beauty out of Chaos and the Sacredness of Art. Sandy Hopkins is a fiber artist in Northern Colorado who has recently intersected my life in the most surprising and wondrous of ways. The process by which she describes her art is beauty itself, which reminds me art is a verb. There is a doing, a redeeming, a restoring in our acts of creating. But she tells it better...
The beginning is a desperate act of hope – a cry – a plea, really, that what is broken is not waste. All is at stake. So, I save old sheets, discarded tablecloths, worn thin and cast aside fabrics that once held life. Fibers weave our memories: joy, sorrow, celebration, pain. Our histories are held in fabrics. Have we forgotten their value in our consumption? The roving shorn from sheep, the fiber gathered, cleaned and spun into thread. The threads dyed and woven into cloth, then cut and sewn. The work and rhythm of hands to create something good. What do we value? What do we honor?
Destruction must occur before repair or restoration. Cut. Cut. Cut. The salvaged fabric cut into small fragments. The cutting opens something in me. I reflect. I look. It is in the honest looking and cutting where healing begins. The hard work of showing up and deconstructing. Truth-telling. Naming. Listening. Forgiving. Healing begins.
The fabric blocks in shape, color, line, dark, light. Arrange. Layer. Rearrange. Layer more. Push and pull space. Explore. The process of restoring. Isn’t this how God works in the world? Reclaiming. Restoring. Bringing together the discarded and broken lives, memories, people, places and creating something new? Discovering beauty in what was lost.
More layers added. And buttons too. Yes, buttons. Objects of delight bringing wonder. Wonder: seeing through new eyes. Wonder: an invitation into a second space. The in-breaking Kingdom of God. Do we have eyes to see?
Acts of commitment: pinning and quilting. The binding of the scraps. The binding up of the broken. The beginning of freedom. Mending. The holding of the beauty. The sealed witness of our histories intersecting the holy. Reclaimed. Restored. Revealing the holy in the ordinary.
Sandra Hopkins is a fiber artist living in the Fort Collins, Colorado area with her two energetic boys and her pastor-agrarian husband. The Colorado landscape draws her outside to hike, garden, ski and camp. And, she is known for making unreasonable quantities of popcorn. To view more of her work, visit sandrajhopkins.com.