Chinami Ricketts – Artist Statement

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On festive days my great-grandmother would dress in special hare-gi kimono before going out. She loved wearing kimono. Looking back now I believe that part of her love for kimono stemmed from a sense of exaltation, an uplifting of the spirit that for me grows with each added layer of garment.

Two thoughts occupy my mind when I weave. First, I envision my weavings coming to life when worn as kimono and obi. I take into consideration the final sewn design of the kimono as well as the functionality and comfort of the cloth when weaving, and I never consider my weavings as fine art. While fine art strives to visually or otherwise address a larger audience, my kimono are intended simply to fill the intimate environment of the wearer with joy.

My other thought when weaving is of my-great grandmother, and my sense of what it means to me to be Japanese. In the weaving of kimono I verify my own existence through the recollection of my ancestors and all those who employed these same techniques before me.