Thread on Fabric to Torn Paper Weaving
Deidre's studio is an interesting mix of organized art projects scattered here and there, framed works beautifully arranged and hung on the walls. Missing is the smell and presence of paint. Present is her work of thread on layered fabric and torn paper weaving, looming faces peering at you from the large scale layouts Deidre selects for her subjects. It is an unsettling first impression, but the more you observe these faces, the more their expressions speak out. Her subjects are not young and some are not particularly attractive, but they are distinctively singular and only a gifted artist could manage to bring forth such a multitude of expressions onto fabric and torn collages, woven with such ingenuity. Deidre also treads in places few people care to venture. Death is not an easy subject, but she takes it on unabashedly. She explains that her work "focuses on the universal issues of age and mortality and on seeing these transitions as a natural part of life, they are worthy of reflection". And therefore: "We are wrapped in cloth from birth through death. With its tactile associations and reference to our sense of touch, woven materials are the perfect means with which to translate human elements that are layered, complex, non-verbal, and even invisible."
For someone who "hates to sew", as she told me, it comes as a surprise to watch her deftly manage piecing, snipping and neatly stitching the multiple pieces of fabric necessary to adjoin and define form. She is able to blend, emphasize and contour, building the desired layered fabric effect methodically, step by step. It is an intense and an uncommon creative process.
Deidre Scherer was born in Manhattan, New York in 1944. Her father was a diorama painter at The Natural History Museum in New York City. She fondly remembers growing up, when she and her siblings sometimes visited their father at the museum when he was at work on a diorama in the Hall of North American Mammals or the Hall of Birds of the World. The hall would be closed to the public, and the diorama’s protective glass would be removed. “And you could walk right into this other world,” she said, “like magic.” She readily admits he was a major influence and inspiration for her artistic career.
She lives in the home she owns with her husband Steve, in Williamsville, Vermont. Her lovely artist studio is above the house, allowing her peace and tranquility of nature, right outside her window...
When she is not at work, she can be found weeding, planting or caring for her plentiful vegetable garden (in the summer) or hosting her 3 grown daughters and nine grandchildren! She is an active member of the community as well as a good friend and neighbor.
B.F.A. 1967 at The Rhode Island School of Design, in Providence, Rhode Island
Her selected collections and commissions
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, New York City, NY
Dartmouth College, Tuck School, Hanover, NH
Visions Art Museum, San Diego, CA
St. Mary’s Hospital, Rochester, NY
The Crowell Collection, Newfane, VT
Museum of Science, Boston, MA
Please make sure to watch the interview with Deidre. She thoroughly explains the creative process and will take you on a tour of her studio.