“Follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness.” Maria Damon quotes Allen Ginsberg as advice to apparel decorators – or any artist. Damon is a poet, author and chair of the Humanities and Media Studies department at Pratt Institute in New York. She’s also a textile artist who bridges the gap between the visual and the written word. She began experimenting with cross-stitch at a young age, when her mother took her to Denmark for their summers.“I have no training in art or textile production beyond what I learned from my relatives in Denmark, a floor-loom weaving class at age 14 and some weekend workshops in weaving or spinning since then,” she says.
Damon sees her cross-stitch pieces as visual poems: “Most of the work is generated in response to a relationship, for the most part in the poetry or literary community. I make them for people because something they said or wrote or stand for, or what they represent in the community or to me, has touched me deeply.”
Damon focuses on her process, and “the unfinished and the unsaid, the unfinishable and the unsayable.” Some works of art may never be complete, and Damon loves that: “The raw, the unfinished, the still-throbbing-with-desire-to-become, is beautiful above all else.”
Maria Damon’s work can be viewed in several online publications, including jacket2.org/article/desiring-visual-texts, www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/electropoetics/lettrist, www.hyperpoesia.net and jacketmagazine.com/37/damon-by-funkhouser.shtml.