Jill Becker is a dedicated educator in the field of textiles. Joining the U.S. Peace Corps in 1974 at the age of 22, she established a batik workshop for the Jamaica Council for the Handicapped. At the same time she began teaching at the Jamaica School of Art, where she established the textile department. The school relocated to a new facility and eventually was renamed the Edna Manley College for the Visual & Performing Arts. At this same time Becker began a screen-printing business producing products for the tourist industry. She returned to teaching in 1997 and continues to teach at the University of Technology, Jamaica. After years of assisting students to organize their final exhibitions and participating in school exhibitions, Becker has determined that it is past time to start exhibiting her artwork in major show internationally.
The present body of work is one of three collections revolving around the image of feathers. Throughout the series the feather was interpreted as a symbol for the passage of time; the plume was seen as a symbol for the writing down of thoughts and events; a recorded history. At its most basic presentation the feather was seen as a decorative element in body adornment. The images are interwoven through over-printing with multiple concepts being presented in layers.
The art wear was heavily influenced by my involvement in the teaching of apparel and textile design. In this body of work, the feathers were examined for their wealth of patterning; the textiles were designed to reflect the variety of patterns while varying the scale, color, and stylization of their designs.
The fluidity of the feathers (they can be stirred by the slightest of air currents) influenced the choice of fabrics with the selection of sheers for their transparency, velvets and satins for their ability to be draped. Through cutting and stitching techniques, fabrics were manipulated to mimic feathers. In the creation of these pieces of art wear it is hoped that they will be seen as an aesthetic collection of "fine feathers" for the human body.