Who is Judith Scott?Judith Scott (May 1, 1943 – March 15, 2005) was aninternationally renowned American fiber artist. She wasa fraternal twin to Joyce Scott, and she was bornprofoundly deaf, mute, and with Down syndrome
Ms. Scott, who was deaf and mute, was sent away from her Cincinnati home when she was 7 years old. For 36 years, she lived in a state institution, where she had very little stimulation or means for expressing herself. Then in 1985, Ms. Scotts twin sister, who had been too young to understand when her twin disappeared from her life, had a sudden realization at a meditation retreat. She found Ms. Scott and brought her to Berkeley so they could "have the rest of our lives mostly together," she told The Chronicle in a 2002 interview. Joyce Scott enrolled her sister at Creative Growth Art Center, an Oakland art organization for people with physical, mental or emotional disabilities.
Judith Scott then began exploringher creativity at the CreativeGrowth, the non profit visual artcenter for the mental and physicallydisabled located inOakland, California. Here sheexperimented with variousmediums, until she discovered yarn.
So what does her workwith yarn have to do with Fiber Art? Fiber art is a style of fine art which uses textiles such as fabric, yarn, and natural andsynthetic fibers. It focuses on the materials and on the manual work involved as part of its significance.
She was often thought of as an outsider artist.Outsider art means art produced in responseto some inner creative urge by those separatedfrom society. It is art made without worryabout what other people are making art.
She usedyarn, cardboard, foam, bits offabric, wood scraps and a rangeof objects that caught her eyefrom an old fan to bikeparts, coat hangers, askateboard, a computer screen.As she worked, often for monthson a single piece, the founditems would slowly disappearbehind layers of colorfultapestry. A documentary filmcrew from Spain recently hadone of her pieces X- rayed tofind out just what was inside.