Through painting and working with fabrics, Amanda Smith explores notions of borders, territory, and human delimitation of the landscape. Her gridded pictorial compositions are reminiscent of quilting techniques, which she also uses with great freedom in textile pieces. In this back-and-forth between the two media, she expresses the desire to create synthetic spaces that evoke an idealized nature.
Amanda constructs these spaces by mixing fragments of photographs or fabrics that she has dyed with motifs borrowed from the textile industry. They are sometimes decorative, replicating shapes inspired by the plant and animal realms, and sometimes utilitarian (for camouflage, for example). In her works, whether sewn or painted, Amanda juxtaposes these fragments in a way that blurs their provenance and generates a tension between true and false, reality and her distorted portrayals.
During her residency at Est-Nord-Est, Amanda experimented with the possibility of transposing the collage method into space, to give body to her works as objects. She explored the materiality of her quilts by subjecting them to climatic conditions on the shore of the river. With her pieces wrapped around her, her body became a support, almost erased by the movement of the fabric, as captured in photographs documenting her outings. The images acted as collages in space, summoning bits of many different places. Like the lines that trace out the grids of her compositions, her intervention in the landscape leads us to reflect on what it means to discover and cross through real and imagined territories.