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Toolshedding | Material Reflections

Posted on: Thursday, October 22, 2015

'Borders | No Borders 02' | woven drawing + dried vegetation | Abigail Doan (2015)

In response to conversations and dialogues related to my recent Toolshedding installation at Weaving Hand studio in Brooklyn, I am sharing passages from my October 1 artist talk as well as links to a selection of views from the gallery walls. The following passages (in quotes) are my own (material) reflections:

"The concept of Toolshedding grew out of a need for tools and authentic objects that might interweave (or facilitate common material relations) across formal disciplines and locales. 

That is, modern tools that might also serve as border defying agents."


Toolshedding (2015) installation in Brooklyn incorporating Bulgarian shepherd bells, twined textiles from Archive New York, oversized pom-poms created as a collaboration with Zaida of Balmaseda studio in Brooklyn and Puerto Rico, linen fiber donated by artist Brece Honeycutt, and Icelandic sheepskin 'scraps' from the design studio of Titania Inglis.


"Given my travel between the U.S., Bulgaria, and Italy, specifically, I needed to create a nomadic studio kit that might be easily transportable, fluid in terms of the diversity or range of selected objects, and textural when situated into new contexts.




Two years ago, I decided to take this dialogue one step further by asking designers from the U.S., Eastern Europe, and Turkey to donate scrap materials from their studios as a way for me to further expand their fiber and/or textile vocabulary while on the road.

This exercise was also a reaction of sorts to interesting visual dialogues that I would observe (via social media) between friends who had never met each other but whose materials and methods had striking connections. I began exploring how the recycled fragments from these individuals’ studio became whole again when they found each other or were intuitively synthesized in unexpected ways."


"Toolshedding proposes that our borders are shifting, but not in ways that will inevitably eradicate cultural identity or traditional know-how and resilience."

A juxtaposition of objects and tools from the rural U.S., Guatemala, and Prague.

"I am searching for more tactile manifestations of cross-cultural sharing and social media dynamics. This need reflects my own desire for ways to better navigate an increasingly complex and seemingly desensitized world. I have housed select objects and tools to honor what has come before me, how challenging (rewarding) the work might have been, and also how beautiful the crossovers can be – a process that is inclusive and aims to leave both bold and subtle evidence of our remains."

Stay tuned for more updates as the project travels to new locales during late 2015 and into 2016. You can continue to view more images on Tumblr as well as Lost in Fiber | Instagram.

2 comments:

susan hemann said...

what wonder work, i have always been interested in hand made tools, have quite a few myself- love your combination of tools, fiber and natural elements

Abigail Doan said...

Thank you so much for the kind reply, Susan. I have the same interest in handmade tools, in part due to my upbringing on a small farm and my parents' interest in collecting objects like the ones pictured above. This will be part of an ongoing exploration as I continue to travel and work in various rural + urban locales. All my best, A.

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