The work of San Francisco-based textile artist Tucker Schwarz probes memory and emotion through sewing machine "drawings" on fabric. In Schwarz's work, intricately embroidered pieces of cloth act as ventriloquists for human emotions. Schwarz works primarily with thread on muslin, stitching together a variety of complex themes, from suburban alienation (somber-looking telephone poles and empty driveways) to the lulls of domesticity (middle class houses curtained by large trees). Schwarz weaves a complex geography against a backdrop of cloth, assembling images based on personal memory and photographs of landscapes and neighborhoods.
I use a sewing machine to "draw" on fabric. The images are based on photographs I have taken and bits of personal memory. The photographs are taken while walking or driving through a neighborhood or a landscape. The imagery in my work has included line drawings of houses in middle class neighborhoods, telephone poles, cars, and simply landscapes. All the images are seen from a distance and are literally coming apart. Many of the threads are left dangling and often lines are not completed. I am interested in subtle, quiet images that trigger our memories and emotions.
In addition to the sewn drawings, I have begun to explore three- dimensional installations. I am utilizing the same materials, but instead the "drawings" are abstract and composed in space rather than sewn directly onto the canvas. They maintain a fragile and even more delicate structure that suggests things are only loosely held together. The unraveling nature of the drawings is mimicked in the knots and fraying ends of the threads used in the installations. I am very interested in the interconnectedness and links made in these networks of thread and the implicit metaphor of falling apart if even one should be untied.