During the summer, Milwaukee-based fiber artist Molly Evans began to rise early in the morning, on the hunt for discarded furniture to embroider with lyrics from Lionel Richie songs. Dubbed “#LionelStitchie,” her project first began when she set out to entertain a grumpy neighbor by transforming their abandoned, seemingly unlovable couch into something more lovable. She has since embroidered many discarded pieces with these love lyrics, giving a voice to unwanted domestic objects.
‘These bulky discards were the remains of university graduates moving on to new chapters, of families starting over with fresh styles, and of people letting go of emotional attachments to tired possessions. I identified with this process of reestablishment and sought to call attention to this important narrative in progress all around the city,’ Molly explains.(via ignant)
Elisa Strozyk is a unconventional textile designer. Instead of fabric, she uses wood to construct rugs, carpets, and blankets. While we often think of wood as rigid surface, her work breaks this convention and transforms it into something much cozier. Elisa’s textile art acts like fabric. They easily conform to a surface and can bunch together, allowing something or someone to be wrapped up in wood.
Each piece is comprised of tiny shapes, variations of triangles and squares. Paired together they make tessellations, or the tiling of shapes to insure there are no gaps between them. Tessellations can be in 2D or in Elisa’s case, 3D. The general idea is that shapes are used to stack and fill space.
These textiles are meant to have us consider a new perspective on material. They challenge our notions of what is possible out of something like wood. Elisa’s textiles can be functional or art object. They can be used as a blanket or on the floor as a rug. But, depending on the design, context, and manipulation of shapes, they can be a sculpture, too.
Elisa gives more insight to her work, writing:
The world around us is becoming increasingly immaterial. We are now used to write emails instead of letters, to pay online, to download music and touch virtual buttons on touch screens. We live in a society of images, a visual culture full of colours, advertisements, television and the internet. There is not much left to feel. Giving importance to surfaces that are desirable to touch can reconnect us with the material world and enhance the emotional value of an object.
“Wooden Textiles” convey a new tactile experience. We are used to experience wood as a hard material; we know the feeling of walking across wooden floors, to touch a wooden tabletop or to feel the bark of a tree. But we usually don’t experience a wooden surface which can be manipulated by touch.
New Media artist Phillip Stearns contrasts two mediums in a way that also conjures unexpected similarities. Stearns has considerable experience with glitches – he’s the author of a Tumblr blog that presented a different glitch screen shot each day. He went on to combine the cold digital spattering of glitches with warm textiles such as blankets and tapestries. The pixels translate strangely well from screen to weave, the glitches not being lost in translation from one medium to the other. Stearns says about his project:
“The Glitch Textiles project was started in 2011 with the goal of exploring the intersections of textiles and digital art. The idea was simple: Transcode glitches in the cold, hard logic of digital circuits into soft, warm textiles. Following a successful funding campaign on Kickstarter in 2012, Glitch Textiles has grown to include a range of woven and knit wall hangings and blankets whose patterns are generated using images taken with short circuited cameras and other unorthodox digital techniques, including data visualization aided by the use of tools developed for digital forensics.”
Artist Joanne Arnett‘s artwork reproduces mugshots in a uniquely meticulous way. She painstakingly recreates these images as woven textiles. Mixing thread a wire, the result is similar to a shimmering newspaper photograph. Mug shots are generally thought of as utilitarian, empty of aesthetic, and quickly forgotten. Arnett wittily juxtaposes this against the form of a tapestry – valuable textiles often passed on as heirlooms. Interestingly, the title of each piece is the accused’s sentence. For example, the title of the first image is “Two Years and a Fine of $2,000”.
Lauren DiCioccio uses a simple needle and thread on cotton muslin to mummify and honor an endangered artifact– the printed newspaper. In each piece, as The New York Times’ text fades, its correlating cover portraits puncture the surface with pockets of strung together color, reminding us of a certain tactile human unraveling as we adaptively wave goodbye to the Industrial Age.
Of her craft, DiCioccio states, “The tedious handiwork and obsessive care I employ to create my work aims to remind the viewer of these simple but intimate pieces of everyday life and to provoke a pang of nostalgia for the familiar physicality of these objects.”
“Choosing to focus on natural elements that are not commonly appreciated or used for decorative purposes, my artwork is connected to the ‘wildness’ in nature even as it is taming it by the creation of formal patterning.”
Drawing on her background in textile design, Lisa A. Frank creates large-scale “repeating patterns”, “tapestry-like designs”, and “floor to ceiling ‘sections'” from her own nature photography. The artist’s works (some of which are composed of over 100 digital layers) obviously draw on a strong connection to nature and its various trappings: flaura, fauna, etc. Such elements are inherently wild and unpredictable. So Frank’s application of computerized media and pattern work, logical processes very unlike the mysterious mechanisms that govern the natural world, sets up a really interesting dynamic. And, like in the natural environment, there’s a lot going on in these works. The effort really shows and I could spend a long time looking at each one.
Great stuff. Definitely worth a click past the jump to check out more images of the artist’s work, which draws material from all four seasons.
Anne Lemanski‘s sculptures of various animals done in unique textile surrounding a copper armature are rich in symbolism. An eagle is composed of stitched-together dollar bill designs, while a pigeon is put together with pieces of a service worker’s uniform. A water bird is made of slick, oily latex. The sculptures are great, and the social, political, and environmental commentary are a bonus. Lemanski’s work, which “highlight[s] our admiration for animals as symbols, and our exploitation of them to suit our needs…” touches on a nice dichotomous conflict that adds some strong intellectual power to each piece. Coyotes, snakes, primates, and more after the jump. (via)
String woven to look like lace from NeSpoon, of Warsaw Poland. NeSpoon weaves designs into locations all over the artist’s native Poland and elsewhere, These images are taken from a recent project on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Nice to see people interacting in and around each piece. Each installation looks so natural in it’s setting, as though they just floated in on a breeze or washed ashore underneath a wave. When people hustle so hard to get noticed and make their mark everywhere, it’s nice to see NeSpoon making art that’s in perfect balance with the rest of the world. In this way, everything around us, man-made or not, takes on an unprecedented beauty. (via)