With Needle and Thread
 
Exhibit Dates: September 6 - November 11, 2011
 

Blue Madonna
Blue Madonna


The present exhibit celebrates the icon style with representation of Mother and Child featuring mainly Our Lady of Tenderness (Eleousa) and Our Lady of the Way (Hodegetria). Those are known features of Marian art; it is the technique used which constitutes the originality of the works on display.

Nancy Goes uses embroidery to depict Mary and Jesus, a form of embroidery which uses beads of all forms and shapes to cast faces, hands, bodies, and backdrops. The effect she achieves is one of compact and sharply delineated surfaces, harmoniously intertwined color schemes, and an impression of overall precious and noble art.

Nancy Goes' technique is reminiscent of a fairly widespread motif in Marian art. There exists a variety of representations of Our Lady spinning, weaving, doing embroidery, sometimes with a spindle and/or distaff in her hand or close by. This traditionally feminine activity is frequently related to the motif of the Temple Virgin and occurs also in depictions of the Annunciation and the Holy Family of Nazareth. The legend of Mary's life in the Temple (from age three through twelve) is presented in the Pseudo-Gospel of Matthew, and is based on the Proto-Evangelium of James. According to the latter, Mary one day, although already betrothed to Joseph and living in his house, was called to the Temple with other young women and given wool to weave a new curtain for the Temple. While spinning the purple wool at home, she was visited by the angel of the Annunciation. Thus, spinning became one of the typical activities in representations of Mary's Annunciation, pregnancy, and those of Joseph's doubt. Weaving is more typical for Mary's activities as Temple Virgin, and is frequently combined with representations of an angel bringing food, or the presence of Mary's companions. There are depictions of Mary in old manuscripts where she is sitting in a group of women, her friends, at Nazareth, and is either spinning, knitting or doing embroidery. Meanwhile, Joseph is teaching Jesus.

Artist Statement

Celebration and contemplation are the two themes that run through my work. I celebrate the joys of life in God’s created universe and contemplate the mystery of His revelation in Jesus Christ.

The Bible, the symbols and iconography of the Church have long been an inspiration for my work. My media is bead embroidery and collage. I love the rich ornate golds and gems of icons and find balance in the simple minimalism of the meditation series. My work is small and intimate, meant to speak to the individual and offer time and space for worship, meditation and silence.

I began making beaded icons at the same time I learned to make beaded jewelry. I was taking a collage workshop at the Image/Glen workshops in Santa Fe. During the day I scoured the town for holy cards for my collages; in the evening a friend showed me how to do beadwork. I began sewing beads on the cards and found the results quite pleasing. The images I was most drawn to – and had found myself developing a deep appreciation and love for – were the traditional icons of the Orthodox Church. When I returned home to my studio, it seemed natural to bead icons. Since then I have also been able to take two icon-writing (i.e. painting) workshops with Chris Gosey, an Ethiopian Orthodox iconographer from Boston.

As a woman and a mother I have been strongly attracted to the icons of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God. She is the ultimate role model for the Christian woman. She is the epitome of sacrificial and unconditional Love.

I like working in a form that has been passed down for hundreds of years and created over and over by generations of devout iconographers. It is a very meditative and prayer filled practice. I begin by tracing the image on pelon, a non-woven fabric used for interfacing in garments, and paint the image. The beads are stitched to the fabric one bead at a time; none are strung or glued. When the beadwork/embroidery is completed, the icon is glued to a board that has been painted and “gold” leafed.

At first I had concern about working with images that belonged to another church tradition, but have found that many Orthodox iconographers are teaching workshops to non-orthodox. They seem to be accepting of this practice and happy that many are coming to appreciate these beautiful windows to the divine.


artist's photo Artist Bio

Nancy Goes has been a fiber artist for over forty years. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in art with emphasis on drawing and painting.

She is primarily self-taught in embroidery, weaving, and basketry, and added papermaking, computer graphics, digital photography, collage, printmaking and artists’ books to her repertoire over the years. She is currently working in bead embroidery and metal and beadwork jewelry.

She has been active in several organizations over the years including the Rocky Mountain Liturgical Arts Association, the Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Colorado Artist-Craftsmen, Rocky Mountain Bead Society, Christian Fine Arts Association and Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA). She has been included in two CIVA traveling shows “A Time to Sew” and “Seeing the Savior.” She is the prayer network coordinator for CIVA.

She has shown her work extensively in galleries in Colorado and across the US including the Denver Art Museum, art centers in Loveland, Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and museum shops of the Smithsonian and the LA Craft and Folk Museum. In 2005 she had a solo exhibition at Visions Gallery in Albany, NY and at the Grand Arts Council in 2003. She has exhibited at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, ID., South Fellowship Church and Bear Valley Church in the Denver, CO area. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, IL and the Biblical Arts Center in Dallas, TX as well as numerous private collections.

Her work has appeared in numerous publications including the Sept.1998 issue of Christianity and the Arts, Christian Century  Dec. 2010, Fiber Arts Design Book 3, New York and Denver magazines, Women’s Day, American Craft, Fiberarts, Beadwork and Belle Armoire. She has been featured twice on the Comment Magazine online magazine.

Nancy has three grown children and five grand children and currently resides with her husband Phil in Grand Lake, Colorado where they attend Stillwater Community Chapel.

Ethiopian Nativity
Ethiopian Nativity
Hodegetria
Hodegetria
Madonna and Child 2
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child 5
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child 6
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child 7
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child 8
Madonna and Child

Virgin and Christ Adoring
Virgin and Christ Adoring

  Madonna and Child 9
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child 10
Madonna and Child
Mary's Heart
Mary's Heart

 

Mother of God Petrovskaya
Mother of God Petrovskaya
Mother of God Rejoicing
Mother of God Rejoicing
Virgin and Christ 1
Virgin and Christ
  Virgin and Christ 2
Virgin and Christ
Theotokis
Theotokis
 
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