“Hair Hat #6” by Barbara Cade©

“Hair Hat #6” by Barbara Cade©

THE AGE OF INNOCENCE is my first body of work. The work was begun in 1971 with work on this series continuing until 1985. They are all made of natural materials - wool of all kinds, bones, feathers, metal, etc. - and employ many fiber and weaving techniques which reflect my early experimentation with all kinds of primitive looms.

While working on my master's degree in 1967, I rebelled against the regimen of school. As soon as school was out, I began to teach myself stained glass, enrolled in a jewelry class and finally discovered weaving. After a year of loom experimentation, I bought a table loom thinking that it would solve all my problems. While it solved some technical ones, I soon found that the sculptural things I wanted to make could not be woven on anything but primitive looms.

Until several years ago, I never recognized the importance of my early childhood sewing experience or the sculptural quality of clothing. The interesting question is why I did not decide to design material and clothing. Instead, I wanted to make strong, earthy pieces that affected me as much as the primitive art which I so admired. I chose natural materials, partly because the primitive art influence, partly because I had been sewing with them for years, and partly because of Frank Lloyd Wright's book The Natural House, in which he writes about the importance of integrity, honesty, simplicity, and plasticity in architecture.

His discourse was the first indication I remember which gave me hope that I was not the only person in the world who despised the world's hypocrisy and materialism. For me, Nature became the manifestation of Truth. And so, I set out to create ritual objects for a culture in which nature is idolized, celebrated and revered. These nature sculptures are not only a history of my art development, but also an expression of my philosophy of life, my version of Truth.

Barbara Cade