LILY MARTINE BAXTER
My practice opens up an encounter with fabric as a material that holds one’s sweat, oils, and fluids, as well as less physical properties such as memories of a time, place or person. It evolves out of a personal value system, one that comes from raising babies, feeding a family, trying to find a rhythm with constant interruption, as well as simplifying and reducing what we take in and discard.
A central element questions the illusions embedded in Western consumer culture. By deconstructing an individual garment, I deconstruct a system that is breaking: a system designed to value success by how much is produced and owned rather than the quality of materials or the time and labor involved in producing the garment.
Driven by my concern with the amount we buy, as well as the waste and ruin due to fashion and textile production, key materials have surfaced in my work that embody these concepts: primarily indigo, salt, and cotton. These materials are entangled (as fabric is by nature) in complex histories and economies. They tell stories of globalization, of humanity, industry, control, residue and disconnection. These materials are connected on an industrial scale within the textile industry, and they are connected on an intimate level within a single garment or cloth. One pair of jeans is made of cotton, dyed with indigo and contains the salt from sweat as well as memories and residue of its use. Within my practice I am reacting by slowing down, spending time with one garment as a material, giving it power in its singularity.
Writing a bio makes me want to eat a pint of chocolate ice cream. I grew up in Northern California and was influenced by two creative parents. I love making things with my hands, so I went to art school and earned a BFA in Textiles. I spent a lot of time painting and drawing after college when I was living, working and exhibiting in San Francisco. Textiles were always in the background, and slowly I have focused my attention back to textile based work. In 2016, my husband and I turned our lives upside down and moved with our 3 year old daughter to New Zealand where I pursued my MFA and we enjoyed the beaches, long white clouds and some pretty delicious fish and chips. With the birth of our son we have moved home and are now living in Sonoma County, raising our two young children and our Irish Terrier Frida.
MFA - Whitecliffe College of Art and Design
BFA - Rhode Island School of Design - Textile Design