Work In Progress: Tegan Brozyna
This April, we have the pleasure of hosting Tegan Brozyna as our Work in Progress (WIP) Resident at TAC. She is a mixed media artist who draws from her background in painting and drawing to create work that is a hybrid of textiles, sculpture, and painting. She utilizes paper, paint, and thread to create new forms and reinvented landscapes. I had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Tegan about what influences her work and the different processes she uses.
On her textile background:
“Textiles are a strong tradition in my family. My great grandmother was a seamstress in England before moving to the United States at the turn of the Century. Like many of their generation, resources and opportunities were limited so my great grandmother repurposed fabrics to make intricate toys and tapestries. My mother followed in her sewing tradition, and made most of her own clothes as a young woman in the 60′s and 70′s. “
“Although there is this connection with fabric in my family, I come from a more academic art background that focused on drawing and painting. I didn’t incorporate them into my work until college when I took electives in fashion design and surface design. Until this point, my work felt very tight so I found artistic liberation by cutting, tearing and collaging fabrics back together. Textiles opened my practice to abstraction where as before I felt so tied to representing the world as I saw it. Through textiles I also realized how important color was to my work, and I fell in love with dyeing fabrics and the subtle hues that one can achieve.”
“My current work is a hybrid of textiles, sculpture and painting. I use the materials and techniques that best express what I am trying to convey.”
Her first memory of textiles:
“When I was between ages 4 and 6, I really wanted to learn how to weave. I took my child’s sized chair, flipped it over and wrapped thread around two of the legs to create a simple and very basic tapestry loom.”
On her work environment:
“My studio practice fluctuates on the types of projects that I am working on, but I am a strong believer in cultivating sustainability. This isn’t just about being environmentally friendly (I try to use recycled and AP Non-Toxic materials), it is also about adapting the work to my environment and my life. It’s embroidering and cutting paper forms on the subway when I have a long commute, it’s working modularly when my studio is small (or non-existent), and with the arrival of my daughter, who is now 6 months old, it’s working in between naps on smaller projects.”
“Like many artists, I’m sensitive to my environment so my studio needs to be a calm and inspiring space. The studio tends to be an extension and reflection of my mind. I try to keep my space tidy and organized so I can focus on the task at hand without getting too distracted or sidetracked. For me, it’s also important to be a part of a larger art community. When I’m not at TAC Manhattan, I have a studio in Gowanus at Spaceworks (located right next to TAC Brooklyn) where I’ve been lucky enough to meet some very inspiring artists.”
On the materials she uses:
“Most of my work utilizes paper, paint and thread. Paper is cut, dissected and torn only to be sewn, bound and woven back together. I use string as a way to make physical marks, which was a concept first introduced to me by Chicago artist, Anne Wilson. Although I typically have a loose idea of what I want the end product to look like, I tend to work modularly with smaller pieces clustering together to form a larger whole. Pieces tend to grow organically, and the process tends to be meditative.”
“Color is one of the most important aspects of my practice. Inspired by textiles, I treat my paint more like a stain or dye with colors applied in subtle hues and rich variations. By creating a dialogue between chroma, I allow some colors to vibrate violently against one another while others harmonize. Another important concept is the idea of zero waste. Like my great-grandmother, I reincorporate remnants, scraps and even my drop cloths back into my work. However, whereas she used fabric my media of choice tends to be paper.”
On the impact she hopes to achieve through her work:
“The making process tends to be meditative and calming so I hope that others find it to be serene as well. Art can be a respite and beauty can be refreshing especially in challenging times. ”
“Anytime you install work outside of your studio it takes on a new life and new context. I’ve shown my work in white-walled galleries, but I’ve also exhibited in public spaces like libraries and airports. I like when my work is accessible and approachable to a broad audience.”
On what influences her work:
“I am first and foremost influenced by my daily environment and nature. The world is filled with fascinating systems, cycles and processes that I can only try to fathom. I am also influenced by a variety of artists like Matisse, William Kentridge, Polly Aphelbaum, Maya Lin, Louise Bourgeois, Sheila Hicks and Teresita Fernandez. Over the past few years, I’ve also researched the female weavers of the Bauhaus including Anni Albers, Otti Berger and Gunta Stölzl. I am particularly drawn to their vivid drawings and preliminary designs.”
On her experience at TAC:
“I first learned about Textile Arts Center when I did an internship back in 2010, and I’ve been involved with TAC in various capacities ever since. It’s a wonderful community and being exposed to so many skilled and passionate artists and designers has been inspiring and enriching of my own work.”
“The WIP residency comes at a time when I am reestablishing my studio practice after the birth of my daughter. It’s been lovely having designated studio time, and I think being outside of my regular studio has been refreshing to my work. I think that my time at TAC will help me to reevaluate my work and push it in new directions.”
On what the future holds:
“I’m not sure where the future will take my work, but I’m excited to see what direction it will take. I never know where I will find inspiration and even failed projects can lead me in new directions. Overall, I plan on staying in New York, becoming more engrained in the community here, and working hard in my studio. I would like to develop work that is more site-specific and three-dimensional so there are a lot of logistics that I need to sort out, and a lot of experimenting I still need to do.”
Photos by Sam Crow and Tegan Brozyna.
You can visit Tegan’s installation for Work In Progress from April 1 – 30, and learn more about her work and process during Artist Open Hours, on Saturdays, 2-5PM at our Manhattan studio.
Join us for Art + Climate Change: A Conversation with Tegan Brozyna on Saturday, April 22, 5-7:30PM.
In honor of Earth Day, artists, activitists, and environmentally conscious folks of all kinds are invited to come together at the Textile Arts Center’s Manhattan studio to discuss ways to fight Climate Change and create signs for the Climate March. Tegan Brozyna will talk about incorporating sustainability into her artistic practice as well as simple ways artists and non-artists alike can help fight Climate Change on a personal, and community level.