Born in Newton, Massachusetts, the second child of a prominent Massachusetts General physician, Elizabeth Morse Jones was expected to follow the path of teas, white gloves, debutante balls, home management and child-rearing that emulatedBoston Brahmin ideals. Liddy Fitz-Gerald took a detour.
Inspired by the changing colors and textures of nature, Liddy spent childhood summers at a family compound on Sebago Lake where an aunt introduced her to the plants that grew wild throughout the property and taught her how to observe their beauty. An avid hiker, sailor, and canoeist, Liddy relied on the freedom that summer provided to sustain and guide her artistic voice.
Having lived in St. Louis, Missouri; Concord, Massachusetts; and London, England; and after raising three children, Liddy returned to Maine to settle in Castine with second husband, Clark Fitz-Gerald, a renowned sculptor whose vision and interpretation of nature dovetailed Liddy’s own passion.
Liddy, who had never embraced the Newbury and Charles St. scenes, now found herself scavenging through the fabric department of the Marden’s in Brewer searching for silks, linens, cotton prints--treasures to her observant eye. She added these fabrics to those gathered during her travels stateside and abroad. Notions and items such as turquoise“donkey beads,” strings of sequins, cords, netting, and buttons added to her collection. From this wealth of gleanings, Liddy crafted her textile art, juxtaposing a richness of contrasting materials to create the various moods of her work.
Through this exhibit, Liddy Fritz-Gerald demonstrates a depth of understanding in her use of color, texture, and design. In one work, dark shimmering silks form a wall of subdued color, interrupted by a slash of pink and the appearance of a of string of fiber thatstretches diagonally across the work like a twisted umbilical cord--both elements challenging the order and formality of those darker silks.
In her eight-foot, sunflower panel, a massive sunflower rises with the wind ruffling its petals. The flower remains stalwart on its stalk, offering its beauty and strength in the moment while promising the bounty of its seeds to nurture the nature around it in the future.
Throughout the exhibit Fitz-Gerald reveals whimsy and tension, peacefulness and tumult in this first, and long overdue, presentation of her work. The collection speaks eloquently of the artist’s life and vision, as well as the power ofher observant eye As Clark Fitz-Gerald announced in a drawing that now accompanies the exhibit: “At last–a place of her own!” We, the viewers of this collection add to that cry, “At last, an exhibit of her own!” Thank you, Gallery B, for making it happen.
- Johanna Sweet
All the Lonely People
Mixed media with wool and buttons
9 x 11 inches