A detail of a sculpture made of plastic tubing, arranged in colored patterns reminiscent of a rug or weaving

Michelle Stitzlein, "Horizon Fringe," detail, 2018; repurposed materials: old garden hoses, electrical wire, computer cable, phone cord, coaxial cable, air hose, etc; 8'6" x 11'6" x 12"

Michelle Stitzlein

Artist Statement

In my work, I explore color and texture in large-scale sculpture and installation that visually suggest the irregularity of handmade textiles, or evoke flourishing flora or other conceptual representations of nature. On close observation, the pieces reveal themselves to be composed of a multitude of scratched, mundane, broken, and outdated household detritus, normally destined for a landfill, already brimming with examples of consumption. Out of a concern for our environment and native habitats, I utilize assorted repurposed materials and secondhand goods in an attempt to confront perceptions about worth, condition, newness, and style. Despite their humble beginnings, the pieces are intended to be rich, bold, and lush visual statements that also advocate for reuse, thrift, and imperfection in our daily lives.


While at Headlands

While at Headlands, I will continue to push my skills in composition and construction techniques while using repurposed materials. Finding inspiration in the asymmetrical patterns, exaggerated jagged lines, spacing anomalies, and hue shifts typically found in antique and vintage rugs, afghans, quilts, and weavings, I will create a series of smaller works on site that borrow from a bygone tradition of make-do, mending, and patching. I also plan to sketch and formulate fresh ideas and directions inspired by imagery found in the preserved coastal scrub and prairie surrounding Headlands. I hope to hike, discover native plants and insects new to me, and also ponder the dilemma of invasive species upon our landscapes.