Driving America's Art Scene - Hunterdon County, NJ USA

Elena Stokes

Elena Stokes


In both my landscapes and abstracts, the horizon line is a significant element referencing a shift in consciousness and the endless process of transformation. Recycled and repurposed materials reinforce the concept of change, transition and transformation.

The structure of my work is founded on the basic elements of a quilt – three layers consisting of a complex surface, an interior batting and a simple backing – all held together with stitch. The quilt maker’s historical practice of reusing old clothing has strong ties with my reuse of discarded silk saris from India. These silks have had their own transformative journey – created by silkworms, woven into fabrics worn by women until no longer serviceable, discarded then salvaged and somehow ending up in my studio half way around the world.

My surface designs involve a painstaking process of tearing and layering each piece of fabric, pinning and re-pinning until they’re stitched into place. Quilting lines are long and horizontal and edges are left frayed and unfinished to support the sense of endlessness. The distressed quality of my layered and stitched textile collages adds to the visual and metaphorical language of the work which embraces the beauty of the imperfect and precious fragility of the impermanent.

By blending textiles and textures with the transformational, I arrive at a visually layered destination of space, line and color.