Cathryn Amidei recreates her color smashings as Fiber Art!
In this issue of “What’s on your Loom”, we feature the works of Fiber Artist and TC2 owner Cathryn Amidei. As the Director of Praxis Digital Weaving Lab (OH), Studio Director at the Jacquard Center (NC) and Digital Weaving Norway’s representative in the US, Cathryn Amidei wears many hats! This past year, she began a new series of works that focused on movement and the connections between the logic and learnings of the loom and the world. Below, Cathryn shares with us the details of her recent projects…
Since 2015, she has been making little drawings – “color smashings” as she calls them – using oil pastels as a means to understand colors and their relationships. Cathryn writes: I pushed the colors together on the page to see the halos of colors that are formed with the oily media when the colors collide. This action reminded me of pushing the wefts into place on my loom. This year, I began to see them as landscapes. Perhaps it is because I have been walking a lot more with more abandon and curiosity and less purpose.
I’ve taken so many walks this year. In my mind, I sometimes picture the path I am taking as a line drawn on the landscape. When I weave, I send threads on paths through a V-shaped space called “the shed”. Long paths in the woods or on city streets remind me of the shed. I think we’ve all been thinking a lot about the path out of where we are now. We are all trying to get to some other side. So when I was giving this piece a name, I struggled to decide which article to use. A Path…Our Path…My Path…The Path? In the end, none seemed sufficient and yet all will be needed.
I have often thought of the view from behind a fence to demonstrate both fear of the unknown or threats of things unbound as well as an opportunity or invitation to be free, an opening, exhilarating and endless. The warp can feel like a boundary, a fence that is holding the wefts in place, it can also be partner giving form and creating intersections where wefts combine to create something new.
Sometimes I think of collisions and boundaries as cramped spaces with little room to breathe. Other times, I learn that these interactions open up spaces that had been invisible to me before.
Recent times have amplified the misconceptions we have about what is solid or fixed. We have learned that outcomes can be unpredictable. Movement can have no starting point. Weaving has taught me that what I perceive – images for example, or textures are the outcome of many actions and interactions. Cloth has taught me that these interactions are always necessarily in a state of motion.
Cathryn holds an MFA in Textiles from Eastern Michigan University. She was Associate Professor there until 2018. She lived in Norway for a year, working with Tronrud Engineering/ Digital Weaving Norway (manufactures of the TC2). She uses the TC2 to make her art and currently represents Digital Weaving Norway for users in the US. She has traveled extensively installing, training, teaching and supporting TC2 users. She is the Director of the Digital Weaving Lab at Praxis Fiber Workshop in Cleveland Ohio. She is self-represented and has exhibited in the Unites States and abroad and will undertake commissions. Cathryn shows her work at WSG gallery in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
September 16, 2022
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