Biomorphism is a concept that refers to the use of ‘nature as a source for unconventional form and symbolic associations’ (Pawlyn). Here, biomorphism is used with the goal to tackle some of the challenges of our present time. Our modern lives with their fast pace make us often forget about Nature, and all that it represents for the human spirit. Breathing Nature wants to bring in first plan the nature of Northern Portugal and Guimarães. Designed, as an installation the piece is comprised of seven light weight panels printed with motifs inspired by the flora of Guimarães. The panels are large scale with the idea in mind to allow for immersion in the nature-inspired landscape. Walking around this hybrid environment creates an experience aimed at increasing awareness about the beauty, and the value of surrounding nature.
Breathing Nature is the result of Contextile 2016 – Artistic Residency [http://contextile.pt/2016/en/portfolio/2-artistic-residencies/] that took place in Guimarães, Portugal in the summer of 2016. Central to this residency was the establishment of connections between contemporary textile artists and the textile industry in Portugal. For this reason, the creative work was carried at MoreTextile Group, based in Guimarães. Details about the making of this artwork can be viewed here.
The installation was exhibited at Casa Da Memoria Guimarães, from July 30th until October 16th, 2016.
The piece is a wall-hanging kit for the home that helps to raise awareness about the health of the home environment with a focus on air quality. It is part of the ongoing research project carried at Central Saint Martins in London. Utilizing bio-inspiration defined as a mirroring of ‘natural models, systems and processes to solve human problems’ (Shu) as a design approach, the piece takes inspiration from the ways in which animals manage to maintain a healthy habitat. The work is inspired by the behavior of the blue tit [Cyanistes Caeruleus] bird. The female birds protect their chicks against pathogenic bacteria by placing in their nests aromatic herbs [e.g. lavender (Lavandula stoechas), yarrow (Achillea ligustica), daisy (Helichrysum italicum), and apple mint (Mentha suaveolens)] that are known for their antimicrobial characteristics [Ask Nature, 2014].
It is comprised of a fabric panel and fabric and paper cutouts impregnated with essential oils of lavender (Lavandula officinalis) and peppermint (Mentha piperita). The loose fragments representing petals or leaves of the above mentioned plants come packed individually, and can be easily re-infused with oils once they evaporate.
Photo credit: Cristina Schek
Encoding [quiet memories]
MFA Thesis Exhibition
Screen-printed, dyed, hand embroidered, cut, painted, drawn, knitted, crocheted, hand stitched, machine stitched, coffee dyed, appliqué
Encoding [quiet memories] illustrates the ways in which I encode remembrances, the sacred values that memories have for me, and the importance of preserving them. Recollections are abstract expressions of past experiences that bear associations to specific thoughts, feelings and emotions. The pieces in this installation serve as examples of precious memories that have the innate quality of taking me to the past, offering the possibility of re-living my experiences, thus releasing me from the irreversibility of time. At the same time, my memories are interchangeable with the memories of others. I provide codes for the viewers to enable them to explore personal memories of their own. Fragments of paper and fabric are carefully pinned on the wall in an effort to express the fragility of memory as well as their vital importance. I am referencing places through the coded language of maps, while the obsolete computer punch cards are helping me to create visual archetypes of memories.
It is created as text with the intention to be read from left to right and it is comprised of three sections that together for the personal narrative: Memory Codes consisting of small objects; Memory Map exploring the idea of memory of a place, and which juxtaposed to the previous section of random memories represents a close-up, comprehensive, elaborate view of a memory fragment; and Materials for Memory offering the foundation for things to come.
The work provides the viewer with the opportunity to decipher connections or to create new ones, to assemble and re-build the stories, to invent or infer new structures. It creates the context for externalizing the story from the mind, allowing memory to be read in a new way.
Found papers, rayon challis, silk gauze, silk thread, reactive dyes, textile pigments, entomology pins, Arches paper
Created as a floor installation, Moreni resembles a map and references the geology of a land. It is comprised of stacks of fabric and embroidered hand-made envelopes and alludes to my personal attachment to the place I was born and its historic reality.
The connection this place has with the extraction of petroleum [i.e., in 1861 Moreni was the third place in the world where petroleum was extracted] is contrasting my memory of the place, therefore flat envelopes on which I stitched the map of Moreni have an embossed seal suggesting the official character of the piece, but they are contrasting with the textures and rich surfaces of the stacked fabrics.
The concept for this piece was developed during the residency at Contemporary Artists Center Woodside (http://www.cactroy.org/about.php) located in Troy, New York, which took place in the summer of 2011.
In 2014 the installation was part of the second edition of International Biennale of Contemporary Textiles Contextile (http://contextile.pt/2014/) held in Guimarães, Portugal. It was awarded an Honorable Mention.
Photo credit: Aaron Paden
About a Place
35”H x 35”W x 1”D
Screen-printed, hand embroidered
Arches paper, Japanese rice paper, entomology pins, acrylic pigments
The piece designed as a wall installation represents an investigation into the specific of an area [i.e., West Coast in the United States]. Through mapping the place I was attempting to get an awareness of the environment and establish connections to the surrounding space. Due to the great cultural diversity and particular scenery, my main tools in mapping this place were the architectural elements and the geographic landscape.
The concept and screen-printing part of the work was developed during the residency I undertook at Kala Art Institute (http://www.kala.org/) in Berkeley, California, in October 2011.
8”H x 5”W x 2”D
Screen-printed, hand embroidered, crocheted, painted
Silk organza, rayon challis, pima cotton, canvas cotton, cotton yarn, silk and metallic thread, entomology pins, reactive dyes, acrylic paints, found papers
This textile object represents an ongoing project. It was created with the idea of using it for recording transformations that occur throughout time. A few pages contain information, but the majority of them are intentionally left empty. The pristine surface of these empty pages is open to endless possibilities. There are stories to be written, and this offers the setting for them to exist. Now and then embroidery interventions are altering the pages and build the narrative.
The installation is a symbolic representation of my trajectory to the time [i.e., 2013], thus comprised of 29 drawings on tracing paper, each a metaphor for a year of my life. With an interest in underlining the duality of our existence and at the same time in exploring the capacity of materials to communicate meaning, I chose to use tracing paper which stands for the fragile and transitory, and knitted monofilament and copper wire symbolizing the eternal. Our existence is ephemeral, but we can live forever in someone else’s memories.