PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
Picking up where Visceral Manipulation left off, the pieces that make up Unearthed are significantly cozier and more comforting yet not completely devoid of unease and decay. My work is still concerned with the polarity inherent in emotionally loaded objects. The new pieces are far more anthropomorphic however, with each suggesting a distinct personality. They beg to be held and thus are far more interactive in a tactile sense.
Materially the forms are softer and floppier than their predecessors primarily as a result of repeated runs through a hot washer and dryer throughout the time intensive, layered making process… felting, matting and distressing the yarns. The occasional use of fiberfill stuffing results in some pieces that border on the plush.
The pieces definitely convey a sense of wide-eyed exuberance… the unbridled joy of discovery and seemingly boundless possibilities. In that respect the visceral references to childhood are overt. At the same time, being taken back to a simpler, more innocent time can be bittersweet. It’s human nature to idealize and mythologize such times… the profound difficulties and growing pains experienced as a child having long faded as the years have passed. As such, the objects concurrently suggest melancholia and loss… childhood dreams forgotten or abandoned and the leaving behind of treasured attachments both physical and metaphoric.