Carole Lyles Shaw’s work has evolved over many years as she explored and learned about many media. She began her career as an artist in the 70’s with writing, photography and printmaking. She was inspired to begin making artquilts in 1990, and now works by blending various media to achieve the depth, transparency and layers of meaning she wants each work to express. She now creates multi-layered collages that combine acrylic painting, mono-printing, stenciling, stitching and digital transfers on hand-made papers and textiles.
As a contemporary African American artist, she joyously lives and works at the nexus of multiple worldviews and cultural legacies. In her life and artwork, she celebrates pluralism, dynamic complexity and paradox. At its core, her work draws on Sub-Saharan West African aesthetics and organizing principles of repetition, discontinuity, mirroring and minkisi (spiritual meanings within the work to be interpreted by the viewer and the artist). This is only one of the ‘vocabularies’ that she uses in her work. Other influences are traditions as diverse as the work of African American and contemporary Sub-Saharan African painters and printmakers of the 20th and 21st centuries, the Western European Bauhaus painters and weavers, abstract modernism, cubism, impressionism and new millennium technology and popular culture.
Her work is in the Permanent Collection of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum (Golden Colorado) and appears in numerous publications including American Quiltmaking, 1970-2000 by Eleanor Levie; Spirit of the Cloth by Carolyn L. Mazloomi, Ph.D. and Artquilts and Quilts Today: A Living Tradition by Robert Shaw, Shelburne Museum.