Lisa Lackey - Textile Artist

Artist's Statement



My work is the process of translating a photograph into a textile image made from color blocks of fabric and hand-stitched details. It is important to me that the image be the capture of an organic moment in time where the artistic constructs of color, depth, and composition coalesce. I am driven to recreate that brief instant from someone's lifetime using traditional, centuries old textile methods, requiring hours of time to be fully realized. The layering of those different views of time into the work is very powerful for me.


The experience of living in New York City, with 8.4 million people, heightened my awareness of issues of identity, both public and private.  I am keenly aware of our need for privacy in such a public environment.  Since I work directly from photographs, rendering them into cutting patterns for fabric, I have chosen to eliminate facial identity from the information I present, so the people's lives I document  may remain anonymous.  In truth, their personal identity is not important or relevant to the story I am telling.  Our lives are universal in many respects, and it is this deeper understanding I choose to expose.


Process is everything to me. I feel that the decisions made along the way are the actual Art and the finished work at the end is just one piece of that process.  Consequently, I document my work in a myriad of ways as I am creating:  Photographs, sketches, pattern pieces, fabric swatches, thread color, line weight notations, and time stamps are just a few.  I organize this information into a Process Book, one for each textile image or series. These books act as a reference to my decisions and choices; a road map of my creative thought process.


I have begun to publish books of my sketches, photographs and process as a way of organizing, archiving and sharing more of my ideas and vision of the world.  (Books are available on  

my . artist run website