Amy Gross’s work is exuberant – bursting with life. Like the Nature that inspires her, every inch of her fiber sculptures are teeming with beads, birds and embroidery. Through the use of photography, textiles, painting and stitchery, Gross gives us an ant’s-eye-view of the worlds where her imagination roams.
Gross studied painting at the prestigious Cooper Union Institute in New York City where she received a BFA. After taking a year off she decided to start her own children’s product, surface and textile design company, Amy Designs, Inc., which she continues to run. It wasn’t until she moved to Florida in 1999 that she began to sew. Amazed by the “hysterical speed” of plant growth here, as Gross explains “it was only through fiber and sewing and embellishing, the merging and transforming of one material with another, that I felt I could describe the natural world I was witnessing.”
The work in this exhibit provides us examples of Gross’s artistic progress as she expanded into beaded, painted and embroidered canvases, then three-dimensional embellished objects and now sculptural pieces. We are amazed as we look at the work and astonished, as we look closer. Gross captures the experience of the wild, entangled, enmeshed world of nature, beautifully. As Gross explains:
“I love the small and the overlooked... I love the process of looking close, of finding things underfoot that fast times force you to miss. And I love the illusion of stopping time, of making a leaf or a mushroom or bird that will last much longer than the eye-blink that nature allows them. There’s a comfort in using basic, accessible craft materials to try to grab hold of what cannot be grabbed, a strange reassurance in reaching into the back of a closet or bottom drawer and making out of what you find there your own versions of the meeting of your mind and your eye. It turns out the transformation is all.”
Gross, who began showing her work in 2003 has won several awards most recently at the national New Fibers Invitational where she received second place. Gross has been published in Fibers Magazine and Visual Overtures Magazine and has been invited to contribute to a new Lark Books publication, “Design Inspiration Guide: Plants.”
Amy Gross resides and works in Delray Beach, FL.