Project Highlight | Walking Libraries (2016-2019)

Project Highlight | Walking Libraries

2018 to 2019 | Restoration AD

Posted on: Wednesday, December 26, 2018

restoration + walking libraries 'artifacts' | Abigail Doan | 2018

The conclusion of December.

2018 seemed to fly by but was also long in so many other ways.

I want to take a moment to thank all of the talented individuals and key organizations who I collaborated with or who helped me to further ideas for the growth of this past year's studio projects.  

It was a year filled with learning from others, slowing down (still), and going deeper into what might better sustain me/us for 2019 and beyond. I will be further fine-tuning my efforts in the new year, perhaps making less, but observing and quietly documenting more. I have loosely tagged 2019 as a year of 'restoration' [ #restorationAD ], as I work to rebuild what is in my immediate sphere and also reframe existing ideas as experiential, restorative initiatives. 

This shift will include more time in rural zones, the further repair of our property in Italy, and studies in somatic/movement-based/restorative arts. The past two years of charting out 'Walking Libraries' has led me to a crossroad where I might also look back at where I started out, over thirty years ago, as an environmental documenter/thinker not yet immersed in fiber and/or textile arts. When I graduated from art school (after transferring there from Princeton University), I was in constant cycles of self-examination that never really allowed me to simply pursue a full-on studio practice. I worked as a researcher in documentary film, as an art/design educator, an art director, an editor/writer, and also as a flower farmer to pay for my schooling. 

All of these layered experiences became entwined in my 'practice', but it was a path that did not follow the usual art career trajectory. I am sharing this now, as I feel that we all must ultimately listen to what 'work' makes the most sense for us, makes sense for the world we currently inhabit, and ultimately will make a difference, in incremental though persistent ways, as we continue to unravel and rethread the challenges we collectively face. 

This is why restoration feels like the right term for me now.

Vulnerability paired with self-knowledge seems to be so fragile or endangered these days, particularly in ways where being furthered exposed might actually better direct us towards relief. Relief from pain as well as relief from ingrained patterns and environmental despair.

With less maintenance of what should be and more curiosity about what might be or what could be, there is more space, less consumption perhaps, and the possibility for still-ness that also remains tied to action (and activism).

This still-ness will be my new terrain, both as a territory to explore as well as atmospheric pockets to (re)visit, mend a little, empty out, refill perhaps, and identify or reframe with an appropriate, more resilient (personal) climate reading.


Geo-logical lab samples from Walking Libraries (2016-2018) | Abigail Doan


2018 to 2019 Project List and Acknowledgements

Walking Libraries (2016-2018) | archiving ongoing in 2019

Studio dialogues + space sharing in Bushwick with Molly Haynes 


studio materials in Bushwick, Brooklyn with Molly Haynes


Ongoing scent trails + atmospheric/terrain research with Atelier de Geste 

Earthtones L.A. [ event/installation collaboration with designer, Titania Inglis ]

Folly Cove Follow Up exhibition at Russell Janis Gallery in Brooklyn, NY

Marfa + New Mexico travel [ including Spacelandings talks with artist/weaver, Elizabeth Marie Hohimer ]


Walking Libraries work table with Kraftmaking the Future materials in background

Kraftmaking the Future: Fibers and Foraging Workshop in Transylvania with KraftMade and invited artists/designers/craftspersons

materials from Walking Libraries dialogue at Parsons School of Design | 2018

Parsons School of Design visiting artist lecture for Walking Libraries (2016-2018)
[ invited by professor, Victoria Manganiello ]

Exhibition of Kraftmaking the Future: Fibers and Foraging in Transylvania at the Textile Arts Center during Gowanus Open Studios in Brooklyn (October 2018) and at the Casa Matei Gallery in Cluj, Romania (November 2018) 


NURAXI Holiday 2018 | Abigail Doan studio | NYC

NURAXI x Teresa Robinson [ site-specific textile sanctuary in NYC, November 2018  ] 

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