Deborah Rustin Cyr had a tumultuous early adolescence, like the most of us. She was driven to photography and creative sewing and has been honing these skills for 40 years.
Cyr grew up in a small town of northern New England with a storytelling father and a raucously funny, creative mother and if she wasn’t making something she was making something up.
Today Cyr finds her inspiration in a diverse range of places, from New York’s Chinatown, to the back pages of gay-wear catalogues, to family photo albums and even to grandmother’s closet. Her raw materials are both original “found” pieces of cloth and fabrics that she prints herself using digitally manipulated photographs and illustrations.
These are cut, refigured and stitched until characters appear. Opposites are combined, characters are put into unfamiliar settings and scale is varied for no apparent reason. The end result is both funny and poignant.
I pull my characters from the culture at large, my family and childhood, and from my dreams, waking and sleeping.
Life means fabric and color, creating tension in my work as I combine opposites, putting familiar images in unfamiliar settings, or on unexpected bodies, and varying scale for no apparent good reason.
Though some of my themes are quite dark I try to infuse even these with a touch of irreverent humor. It amuses me to take a traditional woman’s craft technique, sewing, and use it to make contemporary art.
I am honoured to take my place in the long line of women who have expressed themselves with thread.