June O. Underwood
email: jou@junder.org
http://www.junder.org

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Artist's Statement: I like to think my best art stops time for a moment. Like lyric poetry, the individual art pieces respond to tiny scenes from the quotidian of existence. And sometimes they are ruminations on life -- mine, yours, humanity's. When I exhibit a number of pieces from a single series, the art lends itself to story telling -- gathering a larger swatch of time from its on-goingness.

The Coming Dark
45" x 72"
1997

detail

 

"The Coming Dark" is about death, that old fellow who looms behind us all. "Death is the mother of beauty," says Wallace Stevens. It's our knowledge of the passing of our lives that endows them with such poignancy and can make us so much more aware. The piece is slightly larger than life, includes deconstructed iris which have personal meaning to me, and has the shape of a Japanese jacket because death is both familiar and exotic.


Interior with Charmeuse,
50" x 40.5"
2002

detail
"Interior with Charmeuse" is a reflection on the inner lives of people around me. I began with the thought of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Brown buttoned into her hot (probably polyester) suit, frowsy and grumpy, with an inner life that is pulsing and hot and lively. This "Interior" is part of a series that examines the wild interior of our routine-seeming lives.

June O. Underwood, Phi Beta Kappa with degrees from Penn State and SUNY at Stony Brook, taught college language and literature for 20 years and then began her work in art. She is primarily as a studio art quilter although she dabbles in other media. Her husband of 30-some years tolerates with equanimity whatever messes she is making. Her daughter and granddaughter critique her work while doing a fair bit of art on their own.

As a fiber artist, Underwood paints and dyes most of the fabric she uses in her art. Then she stitches -- with sewing machine, Pro-Freehander, and serger, -- incorporating whatever other tools and techniques are necessary. When it's absolutely unavoidable, she does hand work with needle and thread. She is a member of the Columbia Stitchery Guild, the Studio Art Quilt Association, the Surface Design Association, and the American Society of Crows and Ravens. She has exhibited studio art quilts locally and nationally.

 

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