The Three R's Plus Art

Leslie Nobler

Medium: Website
Issues: Climate Change, Feminism, Identity, Refugees, Social Justice, Textiles, and Women's Labor

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This project deals with climate change and environmental refugee-ism. It interjects global artforms and ideologies, specifically Bojagi (the creation of reusable wrapping and blanketing textiles with – oft-recycled – fabric scraps) of Korea. Both reference this Korean art form, almost universally practiced by women. The vertical scroll is entitled ‘Homes for Refugees’; it repeats a house motif with an ever-watchful eye superimposed, along with (multi-meaning) stonewall imagery. The square piece, entitled ‘Pollution Patches’ shows polluted water gushing out of a faucet, not unlike the problem in Flint, MI. Although the work feels like virtual quilt making, the idea of using quilts as platforms for women’s voices on social issues go back generations, and this work has been broadly exhibited online.

Looking at ways in which artists bring their heritage, their personal stories, and their hands into their electronic/digital art have long been a research thrust and influence upon my art practice. I look to both the approach and techniques of fine artists as much as I look to the logic, power, and open-endedness of experimental computer pioneers. I merge manipulated/painted and photographic imagery with digital mark-making through the line, motif, and texture, using a complex layering process. There are societal concerns, often linked to the personal stories mentioned above, ever-present in my work as well; social justice and specifically refugee crises, environmentalism and feminism are referenced. As a social justice artist for decades, I use digital media to build often large pieces (and sometimes miniature) with computing efficiency and timeliness in mind. In the months after various, harsh anti-environmental policies were enacted; I researched and incorporated ideas and information into my computer artwork. Since the last presidential election, I have been compelled to add refugee concerns to my previous focus on feminism, eco-feminism and pacifism.


Leslie Nobler works in digital, electronic and mixed media art. She creates artist’s books, wall installations and prints, all using multi-level computing technology combined with laborious by-hand techniques. Her new work in digital collage and painting, as well as inkjet fiber-prints seduces viewers with color, material, and an elegantly complex layering of geometric abstraction, lyrical imagery, plus pattern, while its subtext brings other issues to light. The collaged work often incorporates feminist artifacts (work made by anonymous female artisans, such as lace tatters) using alternative digital print techniques. She exhibits extensively, including the New Jersey State Museum, Noyes and Montclair Art Museums (NJ), Old-Main Art Museum (AZ), Athenaeum Museum (PA), Kemper Museum of Art (MO), Afrigraphics Pretoria, and at the International Symposia on Digital Art in Bangkok and London. Nobler has been honored by multiple inclusions in the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery and at ISEA (the International Symposium on Electronic Art). She is an Art Professor at William Paterson University, New Jersey and curator and lecturer at universities, museums and exhibition spaces. Her work is represented internationally in museum and university gallery collections, such as the University of Wisconsin Artist’s Book Collection. A recipient of Surface Design Association and Puffin Artist’s Grants, Nobler earned her BFA at University of Michigan, School of Art, and an MA at the New York Institute of Technology and an MFA at City University of New York – Hunter College.