Hillary Waters Fayle received a MFA from VCUarts in 2013 , and a BFA from Buffalo State College. She is an Assistant Professor and directs the fiber program in the department of Craft/Material Studies.

In Rooted: Botanical Connections she explores concepts of humanity’s interaction with the natural world. Fayle uses leaves as her medium and her subject. She creates intricate patterns with leaves by cutting, sewing or printing. Fayle says, “I believe there is a strong relationship between the land and our own interior landscapes. When we are connected to the natural world, we’re connected to ourselves, and to one another.”

Fayle continues, “I bring together materials and processes that express the union of humanity and the physical world. Leaves, for instance, are ephemeral, but stronger than they seem. They are infinitely replenishable, uniquely exquisite, ubiquitous to the point of being taken for granted- remarkable, yet invisible. When this dynamic is inverted it gives cause for reconsideration.”

Fayle also explores the connections between nature and decorative and craft arts. “Whether stitching, drawing, planting seeds, or harvesting, my hands echo the same gestures made by thousands of hands over thousands of years. I feel a connection to the long lineage of people working with textiles, plants and the land. Stitching, like agriculture, can be functional– a technical solution to join materials together/a means of growing food and material for survival– or, both can be done purely in service of the soul, lifting the spirit through beauty and wonder.”  

“Botanical imagery dominates the decorative arts; we find the patterns, colors and shapes of flora to be inherently alluring. Plants represent specific and symbolic connections to place, to time, to people, to food, to memory. Imagery of plants reminds us that we are connected to the land, grounding us in our understanding of our place on the planet.”

Categories Alumni Work, Community, Faculty Work