Michael Loderstedt: Garden Archive, at William Busta Projects

Michael Loderstedt, Snakehead, cyanotypes on fabric, embroidery, fabric collage, 44h x 32w x 1d inches

When I was a young boy, my grandmother would encourage my interest in sewing. She’d give me scraps of Army surplus wool blankets, and I’d fashion them into tents for my GI Joes. Life on a rural island afforded me lots of time to learn to use a sewing machine, and later woodworking tools as well. That spirit of resourcefulness informs this series of textile works.

Garden Archive is, in part, based on an ongoing examination of my garden. It is an inventory of both the exotic and native plants growing in my yard. I’ve created cyanotypes on fabric to record the forms and textures of the plants rotating through my garden beds. From those initial cyanotype images, I’ve expanded the compositions with additional fabric collage elements. My playful choice of fabrics is informed by color and textural elements to complement the cyanotype image.

Michael Loderstedt, Planetary Alignment Over Wild Irises, cyanotypes on fabric, embroidery, fabric collage, 24h x 20w x 1d inches

My fabrics come from costume and upholstery choices, with some simple solid cottons and vintage fabrics added as well. My decisions on placement and scale are often made spontaneously, often with an eye for surprise and counterpoint to the shapes and forms of the cyanotype images.

Embroidery is used as a type of drawing—adding notes of color and dimensional rendering to areas flattened by the silhouette of the cyanotype. These elements also give presence to the handmade quality of the overall textile.

Michael Loderstedt, Dressage, cyanotypes on fabric, embroidery, fabric collage, 28h x 20w x 1d inches.

Several of the newer compositions are inspired by state flags of places I’ve lived. Inserting blossoms and plants for stars and banners, and using sumptuous fabrics, I endeavor to repurpose the symbolic nature of the flag, realigning it with a more personal narrative. Other compositions reflect on memorable landscapes, or situations I’ve recalled from observation. This new approach to the materiality of fabric in my work has been both challenging and exhilarating, not unlike previous experiments with collage and photography. It is my profound desire that viewers will enjoy the results of this trajectory as much as I have found pleasure in fabricating these works.

15517 Waterloo Road, Suites 2 and 4
Cleveland, Ohio 44110
Open noon-5pm Thursday, Friday & Saturday during scheduled exhibitions