Lizzie Essi

Artist Statement

I believe in the interdependence of all things and that a one-to-one contact with art has the power to shift perspectives. Art has the potential to create welcoming spaces of harmony which regenerate balance and work against the harsh and discordant stimuli of everyday life. 

 

The slow and laborious physical process of weaving confronts the fast and frenetic pace embedded in consumerism with all its associated waste. Through my process of collection and revaluation of materials I rejuvenate the discarded or overlooked.

 

I use a mixture of traditional and alternative media and techniques in order to pull together many disparate parts and create whole and unified structures. Through weaving I am able to restructure a diverse selection of found and scrap items such as single-use plastic packaging, bags, party decorations, straws, beads, broken phone chords, and fast fashion textile waste. These are material bodies unmoored from their participation in market value. I create a warp on my loom using an array of thick and thin fiber threads and then trap unruly linear materials between the colorful threads to create a compact interlocking matrix,  a fabric. In light of the increasingly dehumanized mechanisms of mass production and consumption, handmade textiles remain a medium of great humanity. The richly colored and densely textured fields of material I make using analog processes often take the form of contained and composed structures but emit active and cacophonous visual experiences.

Woven textiles extend across space and become exaggerated landscapes which contain a specified visual order and material logic. The compositions require a closer look to take in the tactility and the true nature of the fabrics contents. The carefully constructed aggregates of material appear to be crudely crafted creating an intensified gesture and expression of the handmade. Through intimate processes of material manipulation and structural transformation I am able to create vivid expressions of warmth and color. The transference of energy via repeated acts of care creates value and gives new life to my subjects. Through manifesting an alternative set of values as I process material, I seek to offer a new experience of these things in order to bring them into a new community of interpretation. I strive to extend the potentials of materials and find new strategies for intervention, as my work is an investigation of my engagement with the material world which surrounds and shapes us.