Artist StatementSince 2015, Heather Kerley's immersive work has focused on mixed media abstract collages and paintings created through a process of destruction and remixing of marks, gestures, lines, colors, and values. The inspiration for her marks come from nature and her own interior landscape. These explorations have gradually moved onto the canvas and into embroidery. Every work is improvisational. Heather works with what is before her. Whether it is torn pieces of older drawings or “found” fabrics, she uses intuition to guide her next mark or color choice. In keeping with the fluidity of her process, titles often reflect passing thoughts and concerns related to the outside world as experienced through technology, as well as literary influences. Her ongoing “Dancing with the Devil” fiber art project is an exploration of the media cycle in the charged political atmosphere since the US election in 2016. These fiber art pieces focus on repeated phrases and online obsessions (including her own news-junky and social media addictions) and the churned-up, wrung-out feeling of fatigue many Americans feel at the moment.
Heather Kerley studied art at the Columbus College of Art and Design before earning degrees in literature and gender studies. She has exhibited her work in New York and the Washington D.C. area and was a 2011 visiting artist at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. From 2012-2019, she lived in Ramstein, Germany where she collaborated with German artists and continued to produce and show work. Currently, she lives in Ellicott City, Maryland.