fiber art

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Art

Aerial Net Sculptures Loom Over Public Squares in Janet Echelman's 'Earthtime' Installations

October 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Vienna. All images © Janet Echelman, shared with permission

Suspended in public squares and parks, the knotted sculptures that comprise Janet Echelman’s Earthtime series respond to the destructive, overpowering, and uncontrollable forces that impact life on the planet. The artist (previously) braids nylon and polyurethane fibers into striped weavings that loom over passersby and glow with embedded lights after nightfall. With a single gust of air, the amorphous masses billow and contort into new forms. “Each time a single knot moves in the wind, the location of every other knot in the sculpture’s surface is changed in an ever-unfolding dance,” a statement about the series says.

The outdoor installations are modeled after geological events so catastrophic and powerful that they slightly impact the planet’s rotational speed. Each title refers to the number of seconds shaved off the earth’s day because of that occurrence, with “Earthtime 1.78” referring to Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami and “Earthtime 1.26” speaking to a 2010 tremor in Chile.

Containing innumerable knots and weighing hundreds of pounds, the monumental nets are the product of countless hours and a team of architects, designers, and engineers who interpret scientific data to imagine the original form. Each mesh piece begins in the studio with techniques done by hand and on the loom, and the threads are custom-designed to be fifteen times stronger than steel once intertwined. This allows them to withstand and remain flexible as they’re exposed to the elements, a material component that serves as a metaphorical guide for human existence.

Echelman will exhibit an iteration of “Earthtime 1.26” in Jeddah from December 2021 to April 2022, with another slated to be on view in Amsterdam this winter. You can see more of the prolific artist’s works on her site and Instagram.

 

“Earthtime 1.26” (2021), Munich

Detail of “Earthtime 1.26” (2021), Munich

“Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Vienna

“Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Helsinki

“Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Vienna

“Earthtime 1.78” (2021), Borås, Sweden

 

 



Craft

Ducks, Otters, and Other Wildlife Plunge into Water in Intricate Split-View Embroideries

August 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Megan Zaniewski, shared with permission

Fiber artist Megan Zaniewski sends delicate air bubbles rippling through her water-based embroideries that capture the momentum of ducks, turtles, and other wildlife as they dive into a pond or lake. Through a combination of knots and straight stitches, Zaniewski deftly renders the animals as they burst through the surface, using threadpainting techniques with staggered strands of cotton to depict layered feathers and fur. She’s embroidered more than 70 different species in the last two years, when she started working with the fiber-based medium:

My exposure to hand embroidery began early, thanks to my mom and grandmother, who were both skilled at needlework. A couple of years ago I rediscovered some embroidery supplies tucked away and decided to make a few small embroidered landscapes of places we had visited. It quickly became my preferred art form…I enjoy the challenge of creating animated and detailed animal portraits with just the simple tools of a needle and thread, bringing them to life stitch by stitch.

Follow Zaniewski on Instagram to keep up with her split-view pieces, including the two large embroideries and 3-dimensional stumpwork piece she’s working on now.

 

 

 



Art Craft

A Dreamy Fiber Installation by Vanessa Barragão Transforms a Medieval Bridge into a Patch of Oversized Orchids

July 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Vanessa Barragão, shared with permission

In the small town of Paderne, Portugal, a whimsical valance of crocheted leaves, dangling tendrils, and petals dyed with subtle gradients encircles the stone archways of a battered medieval bridge. Titled “Algarvensis,” the dreamy installation is by Portuguese artist Vanessa Barragão, who’s known for her large-scale textured tapestries that recreate landscapes and gardens with tufted fibers. The bowed entanglement recreates oversized orchids native to the region with wool from nearby sheep and recycled yarn, resin, and other materials in a celebration of the local environment where the artist spent much of her childhood.

“Algarvensis,” which the municipality of Albufeira commissioned to help elevate the Geoparque Algarvensis to the status of a Worldwide UNESCO Geoparque, will be up until September 12, and you can the process and installation behind the piece on Barragão’s Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

An Eclectic Group Show Features Sound Sculptures, Collages, and Toy Assemblages for the Annual BBA Artist Prize

June 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

By June Lee. All images courtesy of BBA Artist Prize, shared with permission

A broad, varied collection of work from 20 emerging artists converges in a group exhibition for the sixth-annual BBA Artist Prize. Living in ten countries and working across mediums, this year’s finalists include Steve Parker’s touch-activated horn sculptures, Fiona White’s vivid collaged paintings, and June Lee’s figurative assemblages of toys and everyday objects. The winner of 2021’s award will be announced on June 25, with all works on view at Kühlhaus Berlin through June 30. Get a preview on the BBA site, and check out artist Ming Lu’s blue-and-white porcelain sculptures, which won the 2020 competition.

 

By Ewa Cwikla

By Fiona White

By Ernst Miesgang

By Steve Parker

Left: Nina Ekman. By Right: By Juliette Losq

By Sandra Blatterer

 

 



Craft Design

Bright Tufts, Coils, and Lengthy Stitches Are Embroidered into a Textured Typographic Series

June 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Panna Eszenyi, shared with permission

Graphic designer Panna Eszenyi shifts her practice to a more tactile medium in a series that deftly merges embroidery and typography. Created as part of the 36 Days of Type challenge, the thread-based alphabet is Eszenyi’s foray into the craft and an exercise in utilizing a wide variety of stitches. The resulting series fluctuates in font, color, and style with both ornate cross-hatched letters, tufted flourishes, and more minimal, geometric interpretations.

Eszenyi just finished her second year at Eszterházy Károly Egyetem in Eger, Hungary, and you can follow her projects on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 

 



Art Craft

Rainbow Threads Are Knotted into Elaborate Macramé Wall Hangings by Agnes Hansella

June 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Agnes Hansella, shared with permission

Back in February, Agnes Hansella completed a staggering trio of macramé installations. The monumental works are a facet of the Jakarta-based artist’s practice, which spans large-scale pieces and smaller wall hangings extending a few feet wide. “I would like to not cage myself to a certain style, so in every piece, I really let my instinct do most,” she tells Colossal. “I always think of art as something that keeps evolving. It’s like a relay race where I’m one part that connects the past and future.”

No matter the size, each of Hansella’s works demonstrates an extensive repertoire as she blends dyed and natural threads into wildly varied combinations of twists, knots, and ties. The elaboratey woven pieces range from geometric shapes and abstracted rainbow glitches to a vast mountain landscape, which are direct products of the sights and sounds she’s encountered throughout her life. Through interactions with her father’s native Dayak tribe and a childhood spent in Borneo, she saw woven baskets and textiles that continue to impact her work today, as do the Indigenous songs she heard while studying cinema in Canada.

Hansella sells many of her fiber-based works, along with functional goods and supplies, in her shop, and you can follow her latest projects, which include a recently completed piece in Bahrain that’s 48-meters-wide and 4-meters long, on Instagram.