Joan Wortis

Joan Wortis in her studio
Joan Wortis in her studio

Artist Statement

The driving force in my art making is play. Exploring images both found and created, color relationships, happenstance in design and mixing them in different ways is the challenge and the pleasure.

My creative life has taken a number of different twists and turns. It began in dance and choreography, then moved to hand weaving, textile design and finally 26 years ago I began working with monoprint, collage and folded textiles. I play with these in differing ways. The bodies I once worked with in dance are now abstract forms moving rhythmically in space, a theme I return to over and over.

Recently the work has pivoted to experimenting with light coming through multiple layers of very thin, translucent papers, each printed with abstract textural designs to which I add calligraphic collage elements. These are adhered to plexiglas so that the fragility of the elements is stabilized.

A body of work starts with materials I have printed or papers and fabrics I’ve collected These I lay down on my work table and then move, alter, layer and reshuffle. Ideas take hold, guided by my eye or my hand, or perhaps both, working intuitively rather than in a fully planned manner. The journey continues to absorb and fascinate me.