Heather Doyle-Maier

 

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My feminist-informed work explores the nature of representation, elucidating the edges of what can be said and what can be understood within a given semiotic system. Through the use of fiber media and text, I examine themes of femininity and its social construction, of vulnerability and dependence, and of that which is inarticulate and therefore unseen. My works offer subtle, intimate narratives and present objects that seem delicate and lovely, their more unsettling content becoming apparent only gradually.

Like many feminist explorations, my work seeks to illuminate underlying power structures, particularly those embedded within language systems and within female social spheres. To this end, I exploit the aesthetic, material and utilitarian properties of domestic objects, of vintage garments, and of familiar words to deconstruct relational dynamics. I expose the structural elements of feminine garments (zippers, hooks, buttons, hems, seams) and de-contextualize them, removing them from their context and placing them on a revealing ground. I exploit the underlying nature of individual fabrics, seeking out processes that will alter, compromise or damage their elemental fibers. I summon grammatical structures and conventions, highlighting their functional necessities as well as their pervasive capacities. My work utilizes processes that echo domestic activities (sewing, laundering, cooking) and makes visible their repetitive, obsessive nature. The form of my work is concept-driven, and I produce work that has ranged from installations staged in domestically-reminiscent environments, to quilt-like pieces incorporating cloth and text, to hand-held, private artist's books, each choice reflecting and reinforcing the particular idea at hand.

Through juxtapositions of intimate with public, articulate with inarticulate, my work strives to bring structural dynamics to light and to create subtle shifts of meaning from within them.

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A Colorado native, Heather Doyle-Maier holds a BFA from MSCD in Visual Art and BA from Loretto Heights College/Regis College in Theatre Education.  Heather brings her experience as a storyteller-musician, a costume designer, a bookkeeper and a mother all to bear in her work.  Heather’s award-winning work has been exhibited locally, regionally and nationally, and she teaches bookmaking and writing workshops in Denver-area schools.