Sidnee Snell - Temporary Obsessions

“I want to know how everything is made, how everything works. Inspiration comes from anything my eye lands on, especially the push/pull of the human mark on nature and nature’s impact on the built world. I am more interested in the rusting rivet on a bridge than the river the bridge spans.”

I was an engineer before I was an artist and now I am both. My studio practice is a union between the free-form exploration of “Why am I drawn to this image?” and “What happens if…?” and the linear thinking needed to answer the follow-up question, “How do I make this?”

In my recent work, I am drawn to images that include human-made objects acted on by layers of time and natural forces. Each time a new obsession chooses me, I allow the answers to the what if question to open paths of visual- and self-exploration. I don’t want to be afraid; I want to be brave and courageous, so I work my way through my fears, trusting myself and all my years of being a maker to get me where the piece needs to go.

My quilts come together like a developing Polaroid. The construction technique I engineered uses raw-edged foundational appliqué to place the colors, quilting stitches to sketchily define the shapes, and a final washing to soften the borders between images. I like how the texture this produces blurs and abstracts my digitally manipulated photo-based images.  I want the viewer to want to touch the finished quilt, despite what all the signs in the exhibit warn. I want to entice the viewer to come closer.