Greta Latchford is a mixed-media artist using innovative techniques to combine stained glass with textiles. Latchford studied Visual Art and Design in South Carolina at the Greenville Museum School Fine Arts Center and Furman University in the late 1980's. She went on to apprentice with California glass-master Lorn Marshall for eight years before opening her own glass studio in South Carolina. After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2005, she served as the Art Administrator and Curator for the Port of Portland and Portland International Airport through 2016. Latchford works as a public art consultant and artist from her studio in Kalama, WA.
In my artwork, I illustrate pivotal concepts I have come to understand along my personal journey of individuation. Individuation is Carl Jung’s term – it’s similar to the self-actualization process spoken of by Maslow or to what Joseph Campbell calls the “Hero’s Journey”.
My journey is personal, but it’s a universal pattern. Each of us will face in our lives a turning point – a crossroads. Some people reach this point at mid-life, seemingly unprompted by outside events. Others are confronted by a great loss – a divorce or the death of a partner; a serious illness; the loss of a career or possessions. In these moments, everything we think we believe and hold dear can be called into question. But this uncertainty is the beginning of wisdom.
When everything is going as we’ve planned, most of the decisions we make are unconscious. Our choices are dictated by the structure that surrounds us. We’re told we’re free to choose, but the options presented to us are severely limited: Choose a political party: A or B? Choose a religion: A or B? Choose a finance option: A or B? Choose what you’ll eat: A or B? Most of us go along with the scripts we’re handed until, at some point, we experience dissonance between the societal narrative and our personal truth.
In Hinduism, the goddess Shakti embodies both the power of destruction and creation. She is a powerful force of change. She is the great awakener, opening the gate to two paths. One path leads to an expansion of consciousness, the other leads to contraction.
My artwork is the story of what has happened to me since I met Shakti and chose to pursue a path of expansion.
My technique is an innovative experiment of combining stained glass with textiles. I enjoy the variety of textures and patterns that come from fabric and the range of finishing techniques that glass allows.
Having worked in clay, metals, glass and wood, I'm continually experimenting with unexpected material combinations - the pliable and the rigid. The interplay of materials reflects the interplay of energies that I'm exploring.