by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Seed Play: Fiber Art by Nancy G. Cook is on display now in Ginter Gallery II through November 11. Cook is a nationally-exhibited, Charlotte-based artist, displaying fiber art exploring seeds of trees and shrubs through the traditions of quilting, botanical illustration and watercolor.
I am a North Carolina artist who uses layering of textiles, ink and thread to create realistic images of exaggerated size to convey impressions of nature. My work has been called fiber art, textile art, or art quilting. My artwork, informed by the traditions of quilting and botanical illustration, combines passions for nature, texture, color and women’s work as art. I work with fabric because I love it: the look of it, the feel of it, and its historical meanings of comfort and security. I love the way the machine quilt-line creates both line and texture as bas relief sculpture. Recent work incorporates hand stitching for enrichment and details.
My current series, Seed Play, began mid-2008 and focuses on tree seeds and fruits, as metaphors for life’s riches. Working directly from collected seed specimens, my designs are based on research and sketching to clarify what is architecturally unique for each species. I consider the uniqueness of tree seeds a metaphor for the unique and wonderful quality of individual lives. By focusing with admiration and care on a part of the tree that is often overlooked I illustrate that concept.
Nancy G. Cook’s art has a graphic quality and at the same time, provides an experience of intimacy through closeup views of nature created with layered and embellished fabrics. Her hand-guided machine quilting creates lines and texture reminiscent of low relief sculpture. In addition to creating one-of-a-kind textile art, Cook lectures, teaches workshops and does commission work. She has been working in this medium since 1994, retiring from working in industrial /organizational psychology to work full time in art in 2001. Her work is in numerous private and public collections throughout the USA.
Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe and she has won numerous awards.