artifacts + design + materials + spaces

Lost in Fiber | materials + process + spaces

Vogue Knitting Live Sampler

Posted on: Monday, January 16, 2012

Detail of recycled fiber forms by Abigail Doan

Here is a sampling of images from the Vogue Knitting Live 'art gallery' this past weekend. My fiber forms were actually handled and touched a lot more than I was hoping for, but all in all, it was a positive experience. I just do not understand why folks cannot learn by looking rather than by handling. It is a curious thing. I guess that I should take it as a compliment that my pieces looked so tactile that touching seemed appropriate? Something to ponder.

I leave for Sofia today. NYC, I will miss you. Thank you for the injection of love and inspiration. See you when the sweet blossoms emerge and winter hibernation is complete.

(photos by Abigail Doan)

materials: old denim, dried grasses, recycled plastic bag 'plarn' from Eastern Bulgaria, textile scraps, hand-dyed wool, treats from Habu textiles, Japanese paper, seed pods, a lace making needle, beer tab, popsicle stick, silk cocoons, deflated party balloon found on the street, candy wrappers, paper ticket, recycled lace, vintage thread spools, linen cord.


Jessica said...

I think it's interesting that you do not see how people would not want to touch your work, only look at it. I am also a textile artist and it is this part about the idea of work being in the gallery among other things that I have difficulty with. I consider myself a very tactile person and I think it has a lot to do with why I have became a textile artist. I learn and I come to understand through touch. I think that for viewers to want to touch your work is a great thing! It means that your work and pieces have made some kind of reaction in someone else, even if it is just curiosity.
Although I can also understand the fragile nature of textile and fibre pieces, and as the artist you would never want to see a viewer ruin your piece by handling it without being careful.

Abigail Doan said...

Thanks, Jessica. I agree with your points and completely understand why fiber art should ideally be tactile. The agreement, though, with this event is that it was a gallery space that was basically unattended so the work was not supposed to be handled.

In another circumstance, I would gladly have created sculptural work that was meant to be touched and enjoyed, but given that I could not be on-site for this event to engage with visitors, it was requested that the work not be handled. It was supposed to be a gallery and not an interactive installation. I look forward to creating new fiber/textile pieces that might embrace touch and exploration. In this instance, the work was just too fragile to be handled.

Thanks for reading and commenting ~ A.D.

material witness said...

Ths is the same struggle I have regarding showing textiles. There is usually a sign above my work that says "please touch". In circumstances where the work can't be touched it is my practice to leave a little box or sample book where the samples can be molested.

Textile shows are different. Most people who make and view them are tactile. It seems to be an instinct around fibre. Formal galleries usually have fits about this.

Abigail. the show looks extraordinary and I wish I could see it.

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