These - Saw Visions...
Photo on litho
144 x 48 in
Vision, Touch, Voice
By Nandini Makrandi Jestice
I Heard a Voice : The Art of Lesley Dill Exhibition Catalogue
Hunter Museum of Art
Powerful. Fragile. Intense. Ephemeral. Feminist. Vulnerable. Solitary. Communal. Spiritual - all accurate, but ultimately imperfect, descriptions of Lesley Dill's culturally complex pieces. FOr the last twenty years Dill has used a variety of disciplines - photography, printmaking, sculpting, performance - to consistently explore the human form, language, sensory experience and their interactions. With a metaphoric range of work as wide as the range of media she uses, Dill's world of tapestries, sculptures, and installations draws upon numerous sources - Emily Dickinson is her "touchstone," but the words of Pabloe Neruda, Salvador Espriu and Franz Kafka are interwoven throughout. An English major, who planned to teach after graduate school, Dill turned full to a visual art a bit later than many. Although she has always been a maker of objects, at first as a hobby, then more seriously, the true spirit of her work emerged after her mother gave her a book of Emily Dickinson's poetry. That, for Dill, was a watershed moment, one when the artist states that the "words leapt off the page" causing "a stream of urgent images."
Dill describes herself as a collector of language, calling it the "pivot point" of all her work. In a way, her pieces are naked without text and she freely stitches and weaves them across her surfaces. As the artist has moved through different series, language has remained the constant, used to capture what she describes as the enormity of the inner self. I Heard a Voice : The Art of Lesley Dill primarily explores the artwork of the last decade, as Dill has begun to move away from a vertical or rectilinear format and transitioned into a radiant one, with leaves, figures, horsehair, all emanating from a central source. Instead of works that are primarily frontal, many are now to be considered in-the-round. Over the years Dill's process has similarly transitioned and evolved. Initially she would put a few words together to evoke an image; she never used Dickinson's poetry wholesale or tried to re-create entire poems. Now image appear, and she looks for the correct language to tie them together. Even though the order has changed, the synthesis of form with text remains essential.