Added: 10 months ago
My work on ‘Penelope as a Verb’ began as a personal excavation of myself as a craft-based artist.There is often an underlying downgrading of craft against fine art. This project was a cathartic personal transition in terms of embracing my work as a woman artist, and acknowledging the value behind the processes in which we, as women, work. I weave; like women from every culture the world over.
I have explored the archetypal woman weaver across cultures, and my art is strongly influenced by my travel and learning experiences with indigenous communities. I believe there is much value in indigenous and traditional practices, which could reflect solutions and positive change for societal issues today. I try to show this integration of practices in my work.
In my installation, inspired by the story of Penelope, I work with the dialectic of weaving an unweaving. This is captured in my time-lapsed films of the construction and eventual deconstruction of my room installation. Its construction was filmed over 6 weeks, where each part of the work was built in response to a cultural textile piece from a museum collection. I would respond to one piece, and then undo my work, to change and re-make it in response to another item from the collection. I aimed to capture this transformation on film in order to bridge the gap between public and private, and emphasise the importance in the (usually hidden) process.
Over the 6 week process, I became fascinated with the threshold between the dualities- weaving/unweaving, public/private, synthetic/organic, spiritual/functional- and my work started to aim towards finding the space of transition between these dualisms. In the centre of my installation I wove a secluded space, which one could look into but could not enter. It became clear to me that this was the point of threshold, the integration, between the dualities. Penelope, by weaving each day only to unweave it by night, is able to suspend herself in an autonomous space and time: this was my way of weaving my own space around me, which I would then invite the public to enter.
The work depicts change and integration, and it is still transforming. My materials from the installation continue to be regenerated into new art, and I have included some digital images from photographs taken of the installation.