Date of Award
MFA - Master of Fine Arts
In her 1965 essay On Weaving, the artist Anni Albers stated, “As it is possible to go from any place to any other, so also, starting from a defined and specialized field, can one arrive at a realization of ever-extending relationships. Thus tangential subjects come into view. The thoughts, however, can, I believe, be traced back to the event of a thread” (Albers XI). A thread is the beginning of coming into being. In this paper, I will discuss the lines of my work from the beginning of the program, exploring mapping to how my work as a teacher led me to textiles and ultimately to investigating and altering societal structures impacting women.
I will begin by discussing the significance of textiles in society and from a personal perspective. Specifically, I discuss the use of the knot as a metaphor for community and how my use of knots reflects my experiences. By examining an early work of mine, I pinpoint the first steps in finding personal material language that ignited the desire to destabilize expectations. Seeking female artists working with similar ideas, I will show how I used their work to understand my place in issues around scale, time, and materials and differentiate myself from other artists using textiles. I will discuss how my work illustrates my impressions of the education system, teaching, and parenting. Finally, I will discuss how my new work builds on the ideas generated during the MFA program and connects to more significant issues of labor, women, and social systems.
Mahler, Katherine, "A Community of Knots" (2023). MFA in Visual Arts Theses. 21.
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