3 Questions Digital Series

Linda Schmidt

An interview from Art in Embassies 3 Questions Digital Series with Linda Schmidt, who speaks about her creative process and artwork at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Koror, Republic of Palau.

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Full Transcript

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i was a painter for many years and then about 
three years ago i started making installations  

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with layers of fabric so i um i was actually 
invited to be in a show where i was asked to  

00:00:38,880 –> 00:00:44,880
work in a medium that i don’t usually work in i’ve 
been painting my whole life but i also have been  

00:00:44,880 –> 00:00:51,680
sewing my whole life which was a very practical 
thing you know i made all my clothes when i was in  

00:00:51,680 –> 00:00:57,360
high school just because i wanted new clothes 
and uh you know i come from a family where my  

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great-grandmothers made quilts um but you know 
they were also very practical kind of things  

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you know something to put on the bed and stuff and 
i always loved sewing but i never really combined  

00:01:08,800 –> 00:01:16,000
it but when i was invited to be in this this show 
i was like what am i gonna do i you know if i  

00:01:16,000 –> 00:01:20,720
if there’s something i want to work in i’m 
gonna do it i don’t like need to intentionally  

00:01:20,720 –> 00:01:26,960
try to find a new medium to work in and then 
i guess it just kind of came to me suddenly  

00:01:26,960 –> 00:01:34,880
which is unusual but i was always interested in 
layers um and i like a lot of the different colors  

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uh i work with a lot of pinks and reds and yellows 
and turquoise blue i like how the reds and pinks  

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and oranges layer and become really intense you 
know i’m really painting when i’m using them  

00:01:55,200 –> 00:02:01,040
i have like piles of fabric and i combine them 
in different ways and then i usually end up  

00:02:01,040 –> 00:02:08,880
ripping out 90 of them and i just make different 
combinations and then i hang them in layers and  

00:02:08,880 –> 00:02:18,400
see what’s needed in the back of the panels i 
prefer kind of being more messy and gestural and  

00:02:19,440 –> 00:02:26,080
ephemeral and i don’t finish my seams the seams 
are raw most of the time or i’ll use the selvage  

00:02:26,080 –> 00:02:29,200
on the edges there are a 
lot of threads hanging and  

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there’s a real balance you know it’s like 
there’s an appropriate amount of puckers that  

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are you know seem right like it’s 
it’s just kind of easy and and flows  

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that way and also the the fuzzy edges on the seams 
they kind of take the edge off of the geometric  

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i’ll let some of them just drag on the ground 
because they’re they’re not really precious  

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you know hopefully from afar they look real 
tight and you know solid but then you get up  

00:03:01,360 –> 00:03:06,800
close and it’s it’s like they’re not hopefully not 
intimidating they’re just you know they’re very  

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real and it’s not a thing that’s uh deals with 
perfection it’s kind of anti-perfection in a way  

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you know i’m really a non-figurative kind of 
artist i don’t really look at specific things  

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and have specific influences i feel like it’s 
all very subconscious whereas things in the world  

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i kind of absorb and funnel through and make sense 
of them and i guess you could say that’s intuitive  

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we bring them into the work but you know i just 
feel like i kind of have these things in my memory  

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and yeah i guess that’s keeping things 
really open to not be wedded to a specific  

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like i’m gonna make this work represent this 
thing i try to leave the figurative stuff  

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out of the work and i guess that’s why the work is 
geometric because it’s kind of a universal grid of  

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organization that gives you a structure that you 
can interpret other things in the world through  

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i feel like my heritage and upbringing is really 
integral to my work i hope others will recognize  

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pieces of their own culture and experiences 
in the universal aspects of the work and  

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that’s why i really like that it’s being seen 
in other places like that are all over the world