Angela Sriram, Artist
Thanks to living and travelling abroad and across the United States, Angie Sriram has emerged as a cross-cultural artist. She earned her Master of Art Degree in Publications Design at the University of Baltimore. The design part of the program is what resonated with her artistic spirit. She comes from a family of artists and connects with their collective energy.
In Turkey, she witnessed women creating traditional embroidery. In classes where no one spoke English and Angie spoke no Turkish, she observed, adopted and immersed herself into the art form. She fell in love with the approach, and began creating her own pieces woven with gold and silver thread. In India, she drew on local influences and added beads to her work, embedding them in the embroidery.
While living in Cambridge, England, Angie continued exploring embroidery. She had the time to re-live her Turkish cultural immersion and put in the hours to find her own voice. She experimented and tapped into her inner wisdom and the voices of her elders.
After returning to the States, the Maine foliage and colourful hues of varied bodies of water also inspired her work. The rich colours touched her sense of childlike wonder and curiosity and she infused these emotional connections into her creations.
For Angie, working with her hands has always felt grounding, like coming home. The feel of the thread and beads and fabric in hand reminded her of who she was at her core. She creates pieces that emerge from ambiguous thoughts. The beads or the images tell her if they want to be included, and if so, where. She executes their purpose as the pieces dictate. There’s an artistic higher voice. It tells her every time and she listens.
For Angie, it’s all about creativity. She forages through flea markets for old jewellery discards…a single earring, a strand of pearls or a broken broach. She is reminded of the wisdom of the “old ladies” who likely wore these pieces, and imagines and celebrates their stories. She uses these jewellery fragments to design innovative pieces, either wired together or just placed as the spirit moves her…until, like Lego for adults, she disassembles her masterpiece and re-appropriates the pieces into totally new creations.
Her most recent venture raises funds for the eventually-to-be-built Vietnam Education Center. Angie’s oldest brother was killed in the Vietnam War much too young. He was an artist from birth and long after he died, his work was bequeathed to Angie. To honour his legacy, Angie transferred his images to fabric and created scarves now sold at the Baltimore Museum of Art and Baltimore Clayworks.
Ever emerging as an artist, Angie never knows where the artistic spirit will move her. She builds on past experiences and remains open to the possibilities.