Maryam Ashkanian’s stirring “Sleep” series offers embroidered figures on pillows, with threads creating a sculptural landscape on each canvas. The works carry both an intimacy and are part of a broader practice that implements textiles and painting into unexpected forms. The fiber artist is currently based in Iran, where she operates her studio.
Raija Jokinen reassembles aspects of the human bodies with flax. The Finnish artist interweaves creatures and notes of nature into her recreations of our interior. Jokinen considers her work to exist at the “meeting point of the techniques in painting, graphic art, hand made paper and textile.”
Kay Healy fabric works are based on real stories and memories, with surreal self-portraits and scenes. At times, the artist conveys figures integrated into the textiles. Elsewhere, the work is realistic from a distance, its texture and true nature revealed upon inspection.
Vanessa Barragão’s textile art emulates the forms and ecosystems of the ocean. In contrast to the ceramic works of artists like Courtney Mattison, who also explore life in the water, the artist’s material adds a different, flowing texture to these scenes. The yarns are upcycled and the techniques artisanal, as the artist acknowledges the polluting affects of the textile industry.
Threadstories is an artist based in Ireland who crafts both engrossing and humorous textile masks. The wearable works take on new characteristics in motion, which she displays on the Threadstories Instagram account.
The strange textile sculptures of Etc. and the Madness subvert humanity in their writhing forms. For some, the creatures may resemble the pop culture-Internet-born villain Slenderman. But Etc.’s characters are decidedly less sinister, and are more disconcerting in how their casual, slumped existences.