AIR 8 Highlights: PLAY
Over the past two months, the AIR Cycle 8 residents have been experimenting with new textile techniques, and pushing their work into innovative, unexplored territory. Each AIR cycle, the first three months of the curriculum are dedicated to the Play period, during which the artists in residence take part in technical workshops and delve into various new mediums. This cycle, the Play classes have included spinning with Heather Love, natural dyeing with Natalie Stopka and Isa Rodrigues, screen printing with Hannah Schultz, machine knitting with Lindsay Degen, and tapestry weaving with Erin Riley, as well as critique theory with Owyn Ruck.
It’s been inspiring to see the ways in which the AIR 8 artists are applying the techniques they’ve learned during this period to their individual artistic practices! Coming from diverse backgrounds and working in a range of mediums, all seven of our artists in residence have been experimenting with fibers in unique and inventive ways. Through ongoing conversations and weekly critiques, the residents have also been envisioning new paths for their bodies of work to follow.
Take a closer look:
One of Rebekah Bassen’s experimental warps. During the Play period Rebekah has been considering the interplay between light, volume, and material within the context of her woven structures.
Andrew Boos at the dobby loom. Andrew has spent much of the Play period tackling TAC’s massive AVL dobby loom. He has been experimenting with weaving a set of Turkish-inspired beach towels.
A few of Sarah Finkle’s experiments on the knitting machine and with screen printing.
Some of Vien Le Wood’s experiments with crystals. Vien has been exploring the process of growing her own crystals as a means of taking her intricate embellishments in a new direction.
Mia Daniels has been working in the space in between fashion and art. Her playful readymade-esque objects prompt us to rethink the ways we normally consider and interact with textiles.
Weaving in progress by Isabella Amstrup.
On November 30th, AIR 8 was also treated to a tour of Francoise Grossen Selects at the Museum of Arts and Design by Elissa Auther, Research Curator at MAD. Francoise Grossen’s large-scale rope forms – some suspended in space, others resting directly on the floor – work to galvanize the gallery space. They are dramatic, thoughtful expressions of handmade form. In the 1960s, Francoise Grossen took her work off the loom and began to work with fiber in an intuitive, free-form manner. Her innovative, sculptural forms still hold immense impact today. They prompt the viewer to question the space between art and craft, which is also something we have continued to discuss during critiques with the AIR 8 residents. What does it mean to communicate the language of the homemade while striving for perfected form? How can textiles be revolutionary today?
Throughout December, the residents will continue their explorations, as we transition into the next portion of the AIR curriculum, which focuses on textile history and conservation. Stay tuned for what’s to come, and join us this Saturday, December 10th from 6-8pm at TAC Brooklyn for AIR Second Saturdays!