Judith Scott came from Cincinnati, Ohio. She was deaf, owing to her acute Down’s syndrome, and her use of language was almost non-existent. Until the age of seven, Scott lived at home with her parents, her brothers and her twin sister Joyce. For the next 36 years, she lived in institutions and homes for the severely disabled. It was Scott’s relocation to her sister Joyce’s home in California in 1986 which transformed her life completely. She enrolled at the Creative Art Growth Center and began her first pieces of the fabric-bound sculpture for which she is now known. The production of her creations began with an object which was then hidden inside multiple layers of spun yarn and twisted wool. Some of her pieces can be identified as representing figures, sometimes two near-identical forms, perhaps demonstrating the concept of twins. Other work is of a more abstract form, although critics and fans alike have been unable to ascertain the real meaning behind most of her work, because of Scott’s inability to communicate her inspiration. At the Center she would regularly hunt for materials and yarn and steal magazines and objects, hiding her findings in a bag. She worked compulsively and was dedicated to the creation of her remarkable bound sculptures.
Caption: above left: Untitled, 1992; above right: Untitled, c. 1991, photo: Arnaud Conne, Atelier de numérisation – Ville de Lausanne, Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne