Artist’s Statement

Lisa Leigh Hill Payne

My fascination with embroidery begins with the simplicity of the needle, thread and cloth. Through my work, these familiar materials transform the cloth’s surface into a complex and organic design. Historically, embroidery was used as a symbolic language on clothing; I have broadened this use of embroidery to include the expression of my own philosophical considerations. My creations illustrate the unseen connections between the universe and the essential spirit.

I develop my designs from a feeling or a concept that emerges in meditation or while sketching when my mind is elsewhere. Laying down the stitches is a therapeutic process and a dynamic is created as I attempt to distribute the color or density of the stitches to find the answer to the piece’s puzzle. Primary, I use intense hues so that the sensuous experience of the colors grabs the viewer’s attention and elicits contemplation.

My work has evolved from scattered mark making to the symbolic and non-representational. The symbolic pieces moved me to toward a deeper spiritual expression that evolved into the abstract pieces. Much of my work involves a convoluted and mysterious line of thread. My desires is that this line will draw the viewer into a labyrinthine exercise that engages them in a visual and physical experience. I wish the viewer to get lost in a sense of timelessness and to realize their connection to the infinite universe. For me, this realization is a spiritual experience, to find oneself in time and at the same moment, in infinity.

My personal spiritual process is reflected in my pieces. The abstract detail provokes my own reflections and I am drawn to further contemplation and illustration. I have found that in creating fiber art, I can represent a spiritual ideal with a familiar medium making simple and accessible what seems to be abstract and complicated.