2.02.2011

Artist : Sheila Hicks

My friend Neile Royston, gifted me a wonderful book a few years back called Sheila Hicks: Weaving as Metaphor. I had never heard of Hicks and was just beginning to be drawn into fiber at the time. Thanks to you, Neile ... you pretty much changed the direction in my art because of this book!
Image from Wonder-Collective.
Hicks is known for her large fiber installations and is now being recognized for her small weavings, often created on a handmade loom. The works are incredibly powerful, even if they are so small in size. I love this image because you can see the relationships between the works as well as understand their small scale.

Image from Full Circle
And here are some of the pieces up close. I prefer her smaller works

Hastings, wool and cornhusks, 1996. Shiela Hicks. Image from artnet.

Trout Quipu, 1964; woven, wool; 8 x 5 1/2 inches. Image from  Studio and Garden.
Here's what she says about her work, taken from the Browngrotta website: 

Much as I am absorbed in the study of historical textiles and art, I try to challenge a status quo in my own work. Not by taking a radical approach – because I feel more comfortable with intriguing colors and balanced shapes – but by expressing the interconnectedness of disparate elements. By concentrating on essence and observing intrinsic qualities of materials I structure a small world of elegant incongruity.
                                  Sheila Hicks

To read more about Hicks, check out The New York Times interview with the artist in 2006 and see her website here.

9 comments:

Neile said...

Gorgeous, Kathryn. I can see why her work speaks to you!

Lari Washburn said...

pretty new header I see...

Victoria said...

Beautiful! I will have to look for this book next time I get to the weaving shop.

Sophie Truong said...

oh my, you would love to see her retrospective at the Philips academy in Andover, MA, that's currently up. I went a couple of weeks ago but had mixed feelings because it hit a bit too close to the work I've been doing lately, so I tend to protect myself to not get inhibited by other people's work, but her body of work of small weavings is pretty cool. There's also a good documentary in the show that shows how her travels influenced her work and I certainly relate to that.

kathrynclark said...

Oh my, would love to see that show, Sophie. Completely understand seeing work that is similar. It can be really, really disruptive!

Kitty Kilian said...

Wow, must be weird to feel so connected to another artist!

hkpowerstudio said...

I love her work, it's been an inspiration since I learned of her while studying fibers in college. I haven't seen much of her work and what I have seen was only the larger pieces. I can relate to these more intimate small works though. Thanks for sharing them, I wish I could go see the retrospective at the Philips Academy too!

**EYE-SNACKS** said...

i just rent the book from our school..it was occupied for weeks!
but it's an amazing book..i have to feel the pages every time..it's like i can feel her weavings

anastasia said...

really interesting textural elements to this work, the scale is nice as well. i love seeing what is being done to break the rectangular format of weaving.

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