USM Art Galleries Gorham and Portland

2006 — Spring Shag, Debbie Reichard



Spring Shag
Debbie Reichard
University of Southern Maine
Collection Storage

Debbie Reichard (2006)

With generous help from University of Southern Maine Art Students Cotton and Polyester 5 x 6 feet Made from t-shirts even the Goodwill couldn't sell, this handmade carpet emanates renewal. The Lawnmower pattern in the cotton and nylon latch-hooked grass refers to the seasonal task of keeping nature in check, while the stump-cushion made from an old coat and slacks reiterates absurd domestic functionality.

The carpet as lawn is not too far removed from its reverse, the lawn as carpet, and the yard as an extension of the living room. Both represent a level of status and comfort achieved or only dreamt, and the ongoing quest for betterment. The "grass is always greener" is an apropos reminder of the human condition of never being satisfied.

Much of my work returns to this theme of personal betterment, and the question of where the improvements are placed. Objects and situations in our midst are subjected to our desire for control, achievement and unattainable perfection. In the obsession to create the picturesque "landscape of life" our homes are disquiet proclamations of forged identity.

Spring Shag represents a situation rather than a landscape. It is an indoor lawn/lounge area, which mocks my own banal domestic fantasies and admits to playful reveling in them.