Dawn Southworth’s newest body of work has an underlying formal elegance. Having been a recipient of important grants and fellowhips in the categories of painting, drawing and sculpture, Dawn continues to cross disciplines. With her new works on paper and textiles, in addition to drawing, she works the materials with obsessive and repetitive methods including stitching, embroidering, cobbling, assorted fastening techniques, along with repeated tearing, piercing, cutting and burning. The exhibition also features several sculptural objects made of wooden forms skinned and cobbled with hammered and patinated copper.
Dawn Southworth is highly regarded in the arena of mixed media and drawing. She has created an extraordinary body of work combining a vast range of materials and processes that resonate with personal and historical associations. Many of the objects she chooses, scorched and tattered ironing board covers, worn textiles, scraps of paper and cut metal capture the essence of those whose hands once used and touched these now discarded materials.
The larger works such as Final Course or Colony are composed of many intimate drawings, cut shapes, and markmaking on a bed of ironing board covers and textiles, stitched together and mounted on paper. The residual stains in these vintage linens and cottons provide a subtle yet sophisticated patterning to the overall piece as do the delicately charred edges around each drawing. The smaller series, such as Rapture, incorporate salvaged scraps of metal artfully assembled as vessels, vases and botles, arranged and sewn to outline lyrical botanical drawings. These poetic images show a formal restraint and vocabulary rich in associational value. Southworth’s use of found objects, drawing, sewing, and pyrography are handsomely unified in well constructed and highly charged images.
Dawn Southworth’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Fuller Craft Museum and the DeCordova Museum among others. Her work is included in numerous private and corporate collections. She has been the recipient of two Massachusetts Cultural Council Grants, a NEFA/NEA Fellowship, and two Blanche E. Colman Awards.