On exhibit at Central Library, February 2014.
Imani W. Russell has been a maker in textiles since her adolescence, but in the early nineties a series of events – including the experience of reading the novel Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo by Ntozake Shange, prompted the creation of cloth art dolls and utilitarian quilts.
Her art dolls are primarily influenced by the Gullah culture. This distinctive African American culture was rooted in the southeastern United States during the 18th century, and the history, beauty, and strength of the Gullah women continue to inform and inspire her work.
Russell’s preferred mediums are recycled natural fibers, embroidery, and quilting threads. Hand stitches, intentionally obvious, are endured until she achieves a meditative rhythm that reveals the soul of the piece. Then she weaves in found objects and contrasting textures.
Ms. Russell lives and works in northern Virginia. She is married with three adult children, and is the owner of Indigo’s Friends Studio located in the Gateway Arts District, Brentwood, MD.
Want to buy something you see on our walls? Artists contribute 20% of sales made during their exhibit to the Friends of the Arlington County Public Library, to help support Library programming.
Learn more about Art Exhibits at the Library.
I especially noticed the Gullah Doll because it conjured sweet memories of me asking my aunt what “gullah” and “geechie” and “goober-head” meant.
I love going to Arlington Central Library, even more so for the original artworks which are on display and for sale. Thank you.