heather macali

artist statement

As a contemporary fiber artist my work focuses on memory and the innocence of childhood, also the purity of the creative spirit and energy throughout this era of ones life. I remember the feeling of discovery and exploration as a child and that is something I always try to keep in mind when creating.


The use of vibrant color and pattern stems from my recollection of the colors from the 1980s, more specifically the cartoons from this time period.  For example Rainbow Brite and The Carebears had many characters that were each associated with a specific color and responsibility. Whether it was to make all the green in the world beautiful and vibrant or to provide people with sweet dreams each night, they all had a job.  These cartoons have stayed with me especially the positive feel good spirit of them.


My art crosses the boundaries of fine art, textile and interior design, upholstery, and craft. The decorative qualities of my pieces and the sound absorbing character of them create an interior application.  By stretching them over foam, I am able to generate a bulging effect that resembles an upholstered look, which is associated with interior and textile design.


Pattern is a significant subject matter in all of these fields and the underlying theme in my work. I view pattern as a visual language that can cause physical reactions to the viewer. The use of pattern is interesting because it can be chaotic and busy, but it is still a form of repetition and order.  The repetition and rhythm of a pattern generates visual movement, a central characteristic of my work that will keep the viewer visually engaged.  After spending countless hours doing independent research and tediously trying to link the gap between my three interests of fine art, craft, and design, I believe my work highlights and integrates the best aspects of all three.


Ultimately I am attempting to create fabric that carries ideas of color and pattern that I have had in my imagination for as long as I can remember; that are part of the visual world I was surrounded with as I grew up.  I am hoping to put these visions into a concrete form for both myself and for others to enjoy.  If I could choose, I would be surrounded by ordered color at all the times; it both exhilarates and comforts me.

I still have a physical reaction to color and pattern as an adult and want to create work that can provide this reaction to others and myself.