WHEN LIFE IS ART

by NANCY BALDWIN / photography by HOLGER OBENAUS 

LIVING WITH ART INSPIRES NANCY POLLOCK. The Dallas fiber artist is surrounded by colorful textures and reflections. Echoes of light emerge from mosaic glass compositions, while bold ten-drils of fiber creations reach out to engage her senses.

Merging art and life is an everyday occurrence for Pollock, whose studio and gallery are within her residence. Her home is a story of herself as an artist.

“I surround myself with things that inspire me. I love African art, so I have a place for a large totem pole. I have work from friends and from our travels. I have a number of pieces by Michael Vollbracht that remind me of our years together,” says Pollock.

A multifaceted artist, Pollock is as intriguing as her creations. Her early years associated with fashion designer Vollbracht in New York City formed the foundation for her vision. They were years unlike any other.

“Michael was such a brilliant artist and became famous for his fashion illustrations. I made sweaters for his couture collection for a decade, along with my own label,” Pollock says.

Her friendship with muse Vollbracht led to collaborations with other industry leaders and celebrities, including shoe designer Beth Levine and actress Elizabeth Taylor. Each inspired Pollock through their personality and creativity.

“Beth was one of the foremost shoe designers in the United States. Michael introduced me to Elizabeth Taylor, and I spent five years or so making clothing for her. Working with Elizabeth was always exciting,” says Pollock.

The knitting and weaving of apparel formed the inspiration for future compositions. Mosaic art followed fashion, full of bright hues, rhythm, repetition and novelty. Pollock’s narrative and whimsical creations have found their way into homes throughout the country.

Relocation to South Carolina and then Dallas brought a change in both geographic and artistic direction. Newly invigorated, Pollock turned to fiber art and the singular character of its schemes and filaments. Its soft tendrils and distinctive design are reminiscent of her apparel creations.

“Particularly now that I work in fiber, I see elements of my earlier sweaters in the embellishments and the materials. My sweaters are fairly extravagant, with lots of detail that I use today in my pieces,” Pollock says.

Her home in North Dallas reflects the aspect of her fiber and mosaic art, as well as her life as an artist. The 4,100-square-foot residence has an open floor plan with expansive windows that offer not only illumination but inspiration.

“I fell in love with this house in North Dallas. I need to surround myself with colors and nature. The floor plan is a U-shape built around a pool with lots of glass, providing that inside/outside feeling. Inside, there are cutouts in the walls, which keep the flow,” says Pollock.

A three-car garage has been adapted into a working studio. The space allows the artist to expand her imagination.

“There is a lot going on out here, not limited to supplies. I study bookbinding and have my books and boxes on display along with the specific work equipment. Mosaic pieces are displayed here, along with a collage by Michael Vollbracht,” Pollock says.

A gallery displays favorite compositions of other artists, as well as pieces collected from travels with her husband.

“I have a large mosaic in my gallery that reminds me of my love of the work of Niki de Saint Phalle’s monumental pieces. I appreciate great fiber artists like Sheila Hicks, who inspires me, but I try not to be imitative or overly influenced,” says Pollock.

The home is a place where interior designers and architects can view Pollock’s artistry in context and appreciate its color, structure and pattern. Opportunities are available for commissioned pieces.

“My work is one of a kind, and I really enjoy the collaboration with other designers. Working with talented people makes my work more meaningful. I believe I can create dramatic pieces that tie together color and texture to enhance an environment,” Pollock says.

Nancy Baldwin is a Dallas-based freelance writer and editor. Contact
her at baldwinwriter@gmail.com.