Textural surfaces are an integral part of Lois Schklar's imagery and one of the main reasons she was drawn to fibre. She used fabric for its flexibility, texture, it's own rich history, as well as childhood experiences. The relationship between form, colour and surface were always important formal considerations.
Schklar's earlier work (1975-1999) consisted of non-traditional dolls. The dolls were essentially stuffed fabric forms using a variety of found and natural objects. While working figuratively she began to see the vessel as a symbol for the female; i.e. an emotional outlet, provider of safe refuge and as an expression of vulnerability. The standing forms grew from this idea.
She developed a technique for fusing layers of burlap to “build” a form rigid enough to stand on its own. Burlap was relatively inexpensive as an art material and she was inspired by the bushes she saw covered for winter protection. The material suited the idea, the technique worked well and opened the doors to many possibilities.
The idea of female as vessel became secondary to the idea of creating sculptural forms evocative of other places, other objects, other times. Rock formations in Arizona were a major influence. Irregular, angular, and yet soft, they made an enduring impression, their textures an integral part of her imagery. Marks on stones by the ocean represent continuity and an affinity to the marks made by man. Based on these elements Schklar used texture to suggest the passage of time, a sense of place and an individual’s position in that space