2014 Brandford/Elliott Award for Excellence in Fiber Art Recipient
Andrea says of her work, “Cloth, in its seemingly infinite varieties of texture, weight, appearance, and significance, is deeply linked to our histories and emotions through the corporeal body. A simple touch can trigger vivid memories and powerful associations; some unique to a single life, some shared across an entire culture. I make cloth that pulls at these connections, investigating relationships between our physical bodies and our mental spaces through the act of weaving cloth by hand. Emotional states and psychological landscapes become both tangible and tactile as I imbed handwoven cloth with whispers of a figure, with the language of the body. This exploration starts with photography, and my own body. Alone with a camera, I take hundreds of pictures. I hope to capture subconscious gesture; a fleeting stillness between breaths where deep emotion reveals itself, momentarily unguarded. What I capture, I paint onto unwoven thread, and through weaving submerge this shadow of my form within an ethereal and delicate landscape of cloth. In these quiet structures, the monumental quality of scale suggests a mental rather than physical space.”
“My handwoven cloths are substrates for the figures painted within them; they are also physical and metaphorical records of my body. As weft meets warp on the loom, building slowly thread upon thread, an image materializes within its woven environment. This is a solitary, meditative act. These making processes are vital to the finished piece: they infuse a sense of time’s passage, of quiet depths, and even the evidence of some unnamed private neurosis within the subtle irregularities of each handwoven structure.”
“In many of my works the body is painted onto woven cloth, the cloth is unwoven, and then two new cloths (or one cloth twice the size) are woven from the original warp and weft, creating two distinct and subtly different images of the figure from one. This process evolved from my fascination with psychology and the symbol of the inkblot, which, like cloth itself, can represent a unique individual experience as well as a collective understanding. Alone or in reflective pairs, my figures are stains within cloth, the faint remainders of a private life. They are my connecting threads, binding personal experience with the shared experience of being human.”
Also see the film, ANDREA DONNELLY: Where We Meet (below), which accompanied her exhibition of the same title at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, September 7 – October 21, 2012.