Betsy Timmer

mixed media including wood, linen, paint, and found objects.
12 x 7.75 x 2.5 in.

I am a visual artist who specializes in mixed media sculptures and assemblages. I combine and manipulate everyday objects, most often textiles and domestic “debris,” to create both free-standing and wall-hanging works. I employ old clothes, linens, string, hair, dishes; some things I intentionally gather while other things filter in from my own life. These materials call to me because I know them intimately. In fact, almost everyone lives their lives connected to these items in some way. I can’t help but respond to stains, wrinkles, folds and rips – “defects” that record use and tell stories. I think about garments that are worn for a time and are then discarded or stored away. I pay special attention to crumbling concrete and peeling paint – the constant cycle of things wearing out and being replaced. I fold and stack cloth; it is like piles of sediment. I mark the rhythm of household chores, changing bodies, and passing seasons. I am compelled to call attention to how we invest the seconds, days, and years that make up our lives. I question my priorities, my roles, and my motivations. What truly matters to me? What has real and lasting value? What am I working toward?

These thoughts, questions, and accompanying artworks are important. I see myself and all artists as “cultural workers,” recording and responding to the times in which we find ourselves. Artists are uniquely gifted to make connections, reveal truth, encourage growth, and even provide escape. My work is inspired by my everyday life though it is not meant as a biography or a personal journal. I see myself as one voice among many. I explore my personal experience of being an artist, a woman, a mother, a wife, a Midwesterner, and an American and then make my contribution to the larger conversation.

© Betsy Timmer