Artists in Residence Cycle 10: Show & Tell
For the last two months, our 10th Cycle of TAC AIR residents have been learning new techniques, getting familiar with the studio and equipment at TAC and taking a different approach to their practice.
This play period is meant to be a time for experimentation, discovery and getting out of the comfort zone, so new ideas can start to take form. We asked our eight residents to talk about their work in progress, their experience at TAC AIR so far and the importance of textiles in their work.
To meet the artists and learn more about their practice, stop by the Brooklyn studio this Saturday, December 1, from 5-8pm, for AIR Cycle 10 Open Studios.
On her research and experimentation:
“These past months I have been projecting (and hallucinating) with the possibilities of textile techniques and how they relate to concepts I would like to explore in my work. I have been researching the relation between eco territorial conflicts and gender violence; the conversion of corn into food and gender; and continued developing a project addressing the issue of illegal abortion in Lima, Perú.
I have been experimenting with coiled basket weaving, been re-inspired by all the shades that natural dyes can yield and discovered the textures and volumes that machine knitting can create.
At the same time, I have been drawing, with the purpose of emptying the jumble of ideas that I have in my head, as a first approach to explore new themes. With the same intention, I have been weaving on a backstrap loom, getting more and more comfortable with the brocade technique.”
On how the AIR program is influencing her work:
“One thing that I like a lot about TAC is the work environment. Not only it has facilities and tools for unimaginable paths of creation but also the AIR program connects artists from different backgrounds, who work with textiles from different perspectives, generating a confluence of views. I feel that this is nourishing my way of working and my approach to certain projects. I consider extremely refreshing to have the perspective of the residents working with fashion, of artists who work with weaving or have knitted for years. I feel that my connection with textiles is just starting, I’m still exploring he range of possibilities that it offers me. In addition, there is a strong gender theme in several of the residents’ work and that has created a dialogue that has been empowering and enriching to me.
I also want to highlight the machine knitting class. When I arrived at TAC I had no idea what it was, and after doing some tests with the machine the possibilities that it opened to me feel unlimited. I think it fits perfectly my work because I can achieve and play with surfaces that simulate skin, territory, rocky or flat surfaces, spaces without conquering.”
On the importance of textiles in her practice:
“I started working with textiles with the project “Unknown Land” in which I wanted to portray the history of the women of my family. The memory of the knits that my relatives made in the intimacy of their domestic life, lead me to include threads, sewing and embroidery elements in the project. After having represented my family’s history, my interest was projected into the textile memory that Peru holds. My curiosity about local pre-hispanic techniques woke up and I learned the back strap loom and Paracas knitting, a technique that today is present in my pieces. The presence of textiles in my projects has increased while I have sought to delve into decolonial feminist themes.
At the same time, ceramic elements are appearing more in my mind. From what I have been able to sketch, I’m imagining projects that will have both elements, textiles and ceramics, in dialogue.”
On what her play and experimentation:
“Much of my work thus far has explored the translation of print through machine knit pieces. During the past two months I have been continuing this exploration of pattern, color, and texture through machine knitting, hand knitting, and small-scale tapestry weaving.”
The best of TAC AIR so far:
“My highlight of TAC AIR so far has been making new friends who also love textiles!!!”
On the role of textiles in her practice:
“I am fascinated by the versatility and accessibility of textiles. Much like printmaking it operates as a vehicle for a functional and more inclusive dissemination of my work.”
On his work:
“I have been building playful versions of traditional menswear since arriving at TAC. After numerous experimental sketches, I started building this prototype of a men’s tailored blazer. My goal is to take a fantastical approach to menswear, creating a queer alternative that explores unusual shapes, silhouettes, colors, and textures. I am excited to start playing with weaving, natural dyeing, and printing to further manipulate garments!”
TAC AIR highlight:
“My highlight thus far is the people. Everyone who walks through TAC’s doors is so pleasant, and I find that the other residents and staff are so eager to help us achieve our goals. Seeing each resident’s passion through in their practice is inspiring. In addition to the people, I feel overwhelmed by all the textile techniques we are exposed to at TAC. With each workshop, I am excited to dive deeper and discover all the unknowns. Natural dyeing was such an exciting workshop, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some indigo!”
On how textiles inform his practice:
I am primarily a menswear designer, and therefore textiles are at the epicenter of my practice. Fabric weight, durability, and function are formalities that I am always considering when drafting new articles of clothing. The creation, alternation, and deconstruction of textiles have always interested me, but I have focused predominantly on garment construction. Through this residency, I hope to engage more with the creation of fibers itself, using it as a platform to make a more engaging and well-rounded body of work.
WINNIE VAN DER RIJN
On her work:
“This is a color study using techniques I’ve learned so far during my time at TAC. My bundle dyeing sample is the starting point for this group. I find that when I’m learning a new technique limiting my color palette helps me focus. I like to play with how the materials, textures and technique change the perception of the color. It’s a way of seeing. Now I just need to figure out how to connect them… maybe into a mixed media scarf…”
On play and exploration:
“TAC is pretty much Textile Mecca. The access to the facilities and equipment is like a dream. But it’s being part of a community with so much technical expertise, creativity and passion that is truly inspiring. The play period of immersion and exploration is a game changer for me. This time has given me permission to create without pressure to produce. It’s very freeing. There are seemingly infinite possibilities and I’m all about possibilities.”
On the role of textiles in her practice:
“On the I started working with textiles as a child – working with scraps from my mother’s sewing projects. Although I work in a variety or materials, I always seem to circle back to textiles and textile techniques. They are home.”
On her work, concept and technique:
“While focusing on the study of addiction and mental health as it is handled in this country, I was inspired to create portraits in tapestry of people in the middle of their illnesses. I’ve started fragmenting the image, weaving a single strand from one warp thread to the next , breaking off entire sections in order to “fuzz” out those sections. With this technique, I’ve been able to highlight major gaps in memory and the dis-functionality an individual can experience in their illness from day to day. Just chunks of detail and time, scattered apart.”
Highlight of of AIR:
“My highlight of TAC AIR so far (two months) has been experimenting with double weave and machine knitting. I love the freedom I’m given in this program to pursue any creative vision I have, and how I’m encouraged to reach out of my comfort zone. There’s been a lot of self discovery this way.”
On the role of tapestry weaving in her practice:
“Textiles always were a way for me to record and archive time. My whole life I never kept a journal, too afraid to write down my thoughts and emotions. Tapestry became that for me. It replaced the words with an arrangement of images I felt needed to be placed together.
These days, it’s similar but after learning so much more about infinite weaving practices and three dimensional weaving structures, I’m feeling more inspired to revisit my sculptural roots and see what’s waiting there for me to unleash.”
@BodhildIglesias / @LasHermanasIglesias
On their collective work:
“Familien Iglesias (Bodhild Iglesias, Janelle Iglesias + Lisa Iglesias) have been working on a series of translations between works on paper and knit textiles . For our TAC AIR experience, we are switching up the chronology of translations and pushing the ideas of how we react to and reinvent each other’s imagery, processes and gestures. The current translation we’re working on involves a work on paper that incorporates gouache, ink, collage and Flashe paint and its knit painting sister, which we’ll later stretch onto wooden supports. Bodhild is also experimenting with various yarns in Brooklyn and during her travels through Norway this November and is currently knitting a wearable textile.”
On working at TAC:
“Working alongside our TAC AIR colleagues has been the highlight of our collective experience. We feel privileged to be participating in this program with so many creative, intelligent makers and thinkers. The facilities have been a space of positivity for each of us and an opportunity for us to share our work with the community. For Bodhild, there is the extra and profound excitement of having access to a dedicated studio space for the first time.”
On collaboration and textiles:
“We are excited about working with textiles as the processes and histories therein situate our collaboration within a continuum of family knowledge, artist collectivity, feminism and participatory contexts of making. We’re invested in textiles as each technique we learn and incorporate connects us to a lineage before us, each thread and element transforms into a whole through gestures of attention and conversation.”
An highlight of AIR so far:
“I absolutely loved the nature dye play session, and especially the Rust dye part. (omg I’m in love) I feel that the quality of rust belongs to my recent body of work like a long-lost friend.”
On working with textiles and rust dyeing:
“As a visual artist mainly working with textiles, I collect all kinds of clothes and join them together by sewing. By hanging them like curtains, I create secrete spaces that people can enter and be sheltered. It’s a dimension of our parallel world with actual-body absence. It includes not only fashion but characters, occupations, bodies and negative forms, etc. Since earlier this year, I’ve been trying different textile methods to add more time heaviness to this. Screen printing, embroidery, tie dye, spray painting… None of them like the rust leaving uncertain marks on old fabrics. Same as fabric flaws, moth holes and iron marks, rust effect can be think of as an existence of time and living, just more like those second-hand clothes I scavenged. The viewer can trace those little evidence to discover someone’s life poetically.
On grids and structure systems in her work:
“My project is to research grid as a structure system through making of textiles, and to investigate the intimacy of body and manmade space. Grid is the shape of human existence. From the beginning of the history we weave, and we harvest, in grid. Throughout time, the manmade grid expands to urban planning, and compresses to digitized pixels. In the past months, I explored drawing as a medium of textile making. Through both representation of the imagery, and notation for construction, the drawings exchange dialogues with the two dimensionality of the weaving pieces.”
On new textile techniques:
“Throughout the past two month we have exposed to a range of techniques and areas of textile. I am specifically interested in weaving and natural dye. Weaving is a structure and organizing system that I would like to keep exploring in my work. And natural dyeing is a surprise that I found recently. It does not involve the concept of manmade space, yet requires a rigorous scientific process. I am very excite of the possibility to engage natural dye in my current project.”
On textiles as a language:
“Textile is a language that I am learning. Working with my hands is a similar experience as multilingual speaker — I accumulate my understanding and awareness of the language of each medium. In my work it is a language that involves a soft sensory experience, and bridges the intimacy of body and space.”