In our on going series of featuring our members please let me introduce to you – Clairan Ferrono
Although I have done some sort of needlework my entire life, I did not recognize its importance for a long time. My education and career experience was entirely in languages and literature. I began by studying myths and writing poetry. Eventually I did a graduate degree in Comparative Literature and taught for 25 years. In 1997 I discovered art quilts, and by 2002 had become a full time studio artist by seriously deciding to commit myself to making a series and sending out images of the strongest work I was doing. At 50 years old, I had no time to waste.
For me color usually comes first. It is always an emotional and motivating force. Finding and creating patterns is next: the rhythm of things. What happens when seemingly unrelated elements come together? Patterns are both hidden and revealed. I am drawn to the dense visual surface. The tension between fore-and background mirrors one of the essential problems of city life. Bombarded by images, sound, clutter, chatter and message, how do we distinguish the important, the necessary and the real? What comes from within and what from without? What to keep, what to reject? This constant push/pull, interior and exterior, history and present, family and individual, and the resulting struggle for balance, informs my work. The quest is to create harmony amidst the chaos.
For a number of years now I have been working on a series of Windows. They continue to be an interest, as I constantly push myself to explore more deeply and work differently. I’m also asking, “what would happen if…?” Simultaneously I am working on an entirely new series which merely references windows.
I joined SAQA in 1997 because it was my professional organization. But I did not become involved until I began taking a “tour of duty” at the SAQA Booth at IQF Chicago in 2003. I met so many friendly, generous and knowledgeable women there! This quickly led to my becoming the IL/WI rep, which I did for nearly 5 years. Now I am managing curator of “Reflections” and “Sightlines.” I also enjoy working the SOFA exhibit in Chicago. I cannot stress enough the benefit to my growth as an artist, especially one who must market her own work, to the connections I have made through SAQA. I feel I have gotten out far more than I have put in!