Links of Interest

Does A Pairing With Warhol Do Marisol Any Favors?

“… the catalogue for Marisol and Warhol Take New York at the Andy Warhol Museum proclaims: “Marisol and Warhol stand together as the queen and king of Pop.” Is that really true? While Warhol became an artistic superstar, Marisol’s reputation soon faded. By the time she died in 2016, there wasn’t much interest in her art. So maybe the time’s ripe for her revival.”

Meet the Rural Pennsylvania Company Hoping to Change the Clothing Industry

Green Matters Natural Dye Company does contract, plant-based dye work for clothing brands both big and small.

Celebrating Kenyan Culture, Bold Textile Patterns Disguise Subjects in Thandiwe Muriu’s Portraits 

What began as a simple appreciation of fabrics printed with vibrant geometries and hypnotic motifs has morphed into a stunning celebration of African culture. Thandiwe Muriu’s ongoing Camo series cloaks models in arresting garments that disguise them in textile surroundings, leaving just their hands and faces visible. “When I source fabrics, I look for something that I can look at and it almost feels alive,” she says.

Vintage Fabrics Encase Ceramic Shards in Zoë Hillyard’s Mended Pottery

Birmingham, U.K.-based artist Zoë Hillyard revitalizes shattered vases and bowls by melding traditional craft techniques. She wraps a mishmash of vintage silks and fabrics around individual ceramic shards, binding the broken pieces with tightly stitched thread. Appearing glazed with antique florals and other ornate motifs, the patchwork forms contrast the original shape of the pottery with the newly mended exterior, a reconfigured finish that’s commonly disrupted by missing pieces and jagged edges.

The Queer Feminist Agenda of Wilder Alison’s Abstract Wool Paintings

Since 2014, Alison has been visually dissecting Monique Wittig’s novel The Lesbian Body, which theorizes the split subjectivity women experience in language, an inherently patriarchal structure.

Abstract, Textured Patterns Woven With Natural Fibers Compose Massive Wall Hangings by Tammy Kanat

A decade into her weaving practice, Australian artist Tammy Kanat (previously) continues to explore the possibilities of fiber, texture, and knots. Her giant wall hangings rely on patches of tufted wool, concentric circles in linen, and fringed, silk motifs suspended in lopsided brass rings to evoke organic forms and naturally occurring patterns.

Rare 19th-century Navajo Chief’s Blanket Donated to Colonial Williamsburg

Navajo weaving is an extraordinary tradition that spans centuries, with some of the earliest known examples appearing in the form of “chief blankets” — wearable wraps that feature simple, horizontally striped and banded designs. Earlier this month, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation announces that it has received a rare and treasured example of a Navajo First Phase Chief’s Blanket from the late classic period (1865-1870).

Eco-Feminist Art Collective Protests UN Climate ‘Craft reaches places where you don’t normally see climate activism’ says Sarah Corbett

Sarah Corbett, founder of the Craftivist Collective, believes in the power of craft to drive change. Her latest project, Canary Craftivists, championed the introverted activist to create handmade messages of hope in the form of yellow birds. Here, we speak to her about the power of ‘quiet activism’, and what role craft can have in shaping the world.

Quilting: An Archive of Hand, Eye, and Soul

“An archive of the hand, eye, and soul—or the work of Black women textile artists, 1960 to 1980—is amorphous and does a dance of revealing and concealing. Historiographically, the women extending the Black textile tradition move between civil rights, Black Power, and labor organizing, and also something beyond. Archival documents like written correspondence are by and large operational, and obscure the experimental tenor of their making. In oral histories they sometimes told winding allegoric stories. They also just plainly stated that they were poor and tired, and that their particular arrangement of textile work offered an escape.”

How Jingle Dresses Are Being Used to Heal Communities

As the COVID-19 pandemic began raging across the globe in spring 2020, Navajo photographer Eugene Tapahe had a dream. He was sitting on the grass at Yellowstone National Park (which extends across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho) and watching bison graze under the setting sun. Suddenly, jingle dress dancers appeared and started performing the traditional Ojibwe healing dance, with the bison slowly joining in. “All of a sudden, I felt like I was at peace,” Tapahe says. “At the time, everything felt hopeless and dismal, and we didn’t really know what was going to happen. But in the dream, I felt a sense of hope and healing.” When he awoke, he wanted to bring that feeling to reality—and to share that feeling of peace with other Indigenous communities suffering too.

Knotted Systems of Red Thread Dangle from Fabric Books and Letters by Rima Day

Bound with loose threads and inscribed with sinuous lines that crawl across the page, the textile works created by Tennessee-based artist Rima Day evoke the Japanese good luck charms called sennibari. Translating to “thousand person stitches,” the Japanese amulet was developed during war times when women would ask friends, family, and even strangers to make a knot on a piece of fabric, which was then gifted to a soldier for protection.

Exquisitely Cut Paper Sculptures by Rogan Brown Highlight the Effects of Coral Bleaching

“The coral reef is a microcosm of a macrocosm,” says paper artist Rogan Brown. “What is happening to the reefs today will ultimately happen to the planet tomorrow unless action is taken.” Through new paper sculptures comprised of delicately fringed sea creatures, Brown (previously) creates a striking visual display of the disastrous impacts of the climate crisis on marine life, showing how issues like coral bleaching can radiate outward into the wider world.

Accessibility Takes Center Stage in a Fashion Show 

Mode Brut at the Museum of Craft and Design wants to change people’s perceptions of what fashion can be.

Ornate Painted Patterns Conceal Photographer Cecilia Paredes Against Textile Backdrop

Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes continues her ongoing series of camouflaged self-portraits with deceptive new works that leave only her hair, eyes, and ears untouched. Set against lavish backdrops printed with birds in shades of blue, floral motifs, and ornate flourishes, Paredes paints her skin and positions herself in a precise alignment with the chosen pattern, disappearing among the colorful landscapes.

Native Song: Marie Watt’s Communal Incantations in Fabric

“Once, there were songs for everything.” Marie Watt, whose solo show “Companion Species (At What Cost)” runs through January 9, 2022, at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clifton, New Jersey, is speaking in her Portland, Oregon, studio, with the debris from making fabric sculptures and installations all around her. She is talking to me about craft, writing, art, and history. Before long, the conversation turns to music, songs both ancient and modern. She’s just quoted a member of the Mvskoke (Creek) Nation, Joy Harjo—current poet laureate of the United States and the first Native American to be so honored—as a way to begin explaining her own artwork. Three years ago, Watt began to incorporate fragments of text into her work, which is sometimes completely beaded over.