Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Artist of the Week #7

Victoria Reeves Greising

Our daily interaction with fabric is physical. We learn to touch, wear, and feel fabric. We use fabric to protect and cover our bodies. We surround ourselves with colors, patterns and shapes to create comfort and familiarity. These societal habits facilitate meaningful and personal connections to fabric as object. By accessing the unique histories associated with particular pieces of clothing; textile patterns; folding, hanging, weaving, and stitching; the material I work with engages in many dialogues.

Thinking about how we, as humans, universally interact with fabric as a material, I deconstruct and reconstruct everyday clothing, sheets, curtains, and other previously used domestic fabrics to create unexpected forms and environments. Using repetitive processes of tearing, cutting, tying, and sewing, the fabric I manipulate is re-infused with an original form and function. I intentionally use fabric and clothing that has a history-- specifically collecting clothing, sheets, and scraps from people I know. Each article comes to me infused with a narrative, marks of its previous owner, and specific material characteristics-- holes, stains, dried out elastic. Through my process, I respond to the specificity of each piece in the construction of my forms.

My free standing pieces are figurational and engage the material concepts of wrapping, clothing, shape, character, and identity. My installations focus on the viewer as the figure creating a fantastical environment reminiscent of domesticated spaces—childhood forts, playrooms, etc. The fabric forms emerge from the ground and ceiling and layers of hand sewn color planes redefine architectural space. By combining these elements in a given space, my work activates memories and associations-- clothing as a signifier of comfort, identity, shelter, etc. The viewer relates to the creatures in shape, size and stature and is consumed in the womb like intimate spaces created by tightly crafted surfaces coming from the ceiling, walls, etc. The experience is visual, physical and ignites a recollection on space and material.