Working from my background in natural plant dyeing, farming and cooking; I am interested in how plants and food create marks left from interactions between between people. Using the process of eating as a group and the meal itself as a medium, the artwork is created during and after the interaction of persons and plants interact.
The Last Supper / 2016
50 small un-glazed clay cups with a small hole at the base. Participants were served wine throughout the exhibition opening
Pancake Breakfast / 2016
Table was made as a large bandana that participants tied around their necks, creating a table top when taught. Participants then ate pancakes with syrup and jelly, trying their best to keep a taught table.
Potluck Lunch / 2016
Guests were invited to bring a dish of a specific color to a potluck lunch where there were no vessels for the meal except for cups.
Dips / 2016
Catering a gallery opening, guests partook in a variety of finger foods and dips: pesto, beet hummus and baba ganoush. Guests were instructed to "paint" with their snacks.
The conversations began after the election. Another conversation happened after Oakland's Ghost Ship Fire. Now we have continuing conversations as we share ideas, mourn our loved ones, and rally for positive change. During the candlelight conversations I invite people to gather around a piece of cloth, we light candles that are held by the participants, and I give the participants a prompt to discuss as the wax drips upon the cloth. The prompt changes every conversation, pertaining to the current social/political climate. Each participant is given time and space to respond to the prompt while others listen, and once everyone has had a turn the conversation is open for discussion. Though I have never made rules about leaving, no one has even left the circle until all candles have fully burnt out. After the conversations, I take this wax-soaked cloth and I dye it in a natural indigo vat that I care for in my studio. When dyeing with indigo, you don't leave it in the vat longer to let the color get darker, like other dye processes. Instead you have to continuously dip the cloth over and over, layering the color to build a darker hue. Many traditional dyers believe that by doing this, the cloth actually gains strength from the layering. When the cloth is dyed, the wax is exposed. All of our shared ideas, mourning, and rallying are exposed. The more me talk to each other, the more we learn can learn from one another. Gaining strength from our shared interactions.
In Summer 2017, Sierra began a project of mending clothes for the public for free or trade, titling the project "Darn It!"
"Darn It" has been hosted in Oakland, CA at studio 8th & Pine, and Baltimore, MD at studio Open Works and is an ongoing project.
Since 2010 Sierra has contributed garments to the Northern California Fibershed. Connecting designers and fiber producers, the Fibershed develops regenerative textile systems that are based on carbon farming, regional manufacturing, and public education.
Please visit Fibershed.com for more information All represented are taken by Paige Green of Paige Green Photography
Textile design collaboration with Berkeley-based fashion and textile designer, Erica Tanov for her Spring 2016 collection.
All pieces are 100% silk dyed in Indigo, Black Walnut, and Oak Gals (harvested in the Capay Valley)
Since 2014, Sierra has worked beside Sally Fox / vreseis.com / in maintaining her flock of Merino/Shetland Sheep and breeding biodynamic, organic, non-genetically modified color-grown cotton in the Capay Valley in California.
"I feel strong in my belief, based on my widely traveled collaborations, that a one-to-one contact through art contains potent peaceful powers, and is the most non-elitist way to share information, hopefully seducing us intro creating mutual understandings for the benefit of all."
Whirl We Blue / 2017
A dance production in collaboration with Zoe Donnellycult. All movement made by the dancers, curated by Zoe. Indigo dye and costumes by Sierra Reading
Textile Play Ground
A larger-than-life interactive textile in collaboration with Geana Sieburger of GDS Cloth Goods / gdsclothgoods.com / where guests were invited to learn how to knit and weave with 6 - foot tools.