Illustration: Dominie Nash. Big Leaf Impromptu #8, 2008.
The Big Leaf series of textile art pieces by the artist Dominie Nash allows us to see both the robustness of the natural world along with the delicate and transient character that we often associate with particular aspects of nature. Leaves seem especially poignant to us with their ability to haunt us with ideas about decay and death. However, leaves should also be seen as an aspect of the cycle of life, dropped leaves in autumn only showing us part of that cycle.
Illustration: Dominie Nash. Big Leaf Impromptu #9, 2008.
Nash may well have been initially inspired to produce a series of textile art pieces using the construction, both delicate and robust, of a leaf, however the sequence of compositions that she has produced go a long way past any mere observational interest or aspect. These pieces have taken the most important features of the leaf from its complex colour tones to the emulation of the skeletal structure of the leaf through the use of hand stitching. All are portrayed within compositions that cover two very different aspects of fine art. On the one hand, is the analytical, almost medical approach to the anatomy of the leaf. Through that detailed analysis, comes an understanding of the anatomy of nature itself. However, another important aspect that Nash includes in all her work is the creative and inspirational character that underlies all of her work. The artist has an intrinsic understanding of colour tone and texture, which she uses with the confidence of compositional arrangement.
Illustration: Dominie Nash. Big Leaf Series #15, 2008.
To bring together the analytical, observational, compositional and creative features of her work while using the often difficult format of textiles, is a feat that Nash has managed to pull off. With these fascinating and at the same time haunting contained studies of both the dying leaf and the larger cycle of nature, the artist has managed to create for us a multi-focused compiled survey of the ever changing environment around us. In some respects, it is similar to one person stopping a moment in life's busy schedule, stooping down and picking a dead leaf up from the ground. That is the job of the creative, to allow us to observe a moment in time that they themselves have captured.
Illustration: Dominie Nash. Big Leaf Series #16, 2008.
Dominie Nash has exhibited her work across the US, as well as in the UK. She has a comprehensive website where much more of her work can be found. The link to her site is as always, in the reference links section below.
All images are used with the kind permission of the artist.