I work with tiny glass beads, sewn one to the next, in unexpected ways by unexpected hands. I am a 52 year-old, 6’5”, white guy; not what comes to mind when one thinks of beadwork. A younger version of myself worried about the fact that I was inexplicably drawn to a medium so laden with cultural and gender based bias. More truthfully, others worried and I worried that I should worry. I no longer do.
I pursue images that transform, say something true and that move me, the maker, forward in some way. My work tells of the odd world I inhabit. It is a place that is more interesting than it is comfortable. A perfect object is equal parts personal and universal, craftsmanship and concept.
In my latest work, I limit my use of color and use beads as a reductive medium rather than as embellishment. I am completely fascinated by the potential this offers. An object covered in a matrix of fine needle-work and glass is now less that object, and more the place where that object once was. Like a memory held in time and space. Each bead and the thread that binds it is a mark and a reflection of a moment. The accumulation of these marks becomes a meditation. I feel that this work has brought me closer than ever to understanding the narrative potential of these materials.
-- David Chatt