01. The fold: the Baroque invents the infinite work or process. The problem is not how to finish a fold, but how to continue it, to have it go through the ceiling, how to bring it to infinity. It is not only because the fold affects all materials that it thus becomes expressive matter, with different scales, speeds, and different vectors (mountains and waters, papers, fabrics, living tissues, the brain), but especially because it determines and materializes Form. It produces a form of expression, a Gestaltung, the genetic element or infinite line of inflection, the curve with a unique variable. – Gilles Deleuze “The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque.”
The material of fabric can contain a multitude of meanings: it is used in domestic spaces, for aesthetic, in sacred spaces for religious and liturgical purposes, it can suggest mystery, add illusions, and can hide certain things. Similarly, to fabric’s semiotic ability, I am interested in how it can act as a boundary of meaning and can create new storylines. My installation Safety nets, which positions itself within a contemporary feminist art practice, looks at interiority, transformation, and protection.
My work puts forwards questions regarding paradigms of belief, perception, and gender; I re-phrase images, re-tell myths, and re-perform experiences within a feminist and open framework to create agency and transformation. I am interested in the layers of places, and the folds of materials and time. As Catherine Dormor states in her essay Writing Textile, Making Text: Cloth and Stitch as Agency for Disorderly Text : “the one stitch and the many together bring together fragments, fragments without a linear narrative between them, to form a matrix of knowledge that can be traversed in multiple ways. Each nomadic journey in turn mimics those that went before, whilst simultaneously creating its own trajectories and its own linguistic performance” (11).
Safety nets references architectonic elements, nature, interiority (the space inside), the material considerations of collapse, and the idea of home. I wanted to draw out the meanings embedded within the medium of fabric itself – that of gender (what is encoded is clothing, and fabric’s association with the body), safety (protection, tents, curtains), memory (quilts), and ritual (vestments, robes, flags). In part, this installation aims to be a physical expression of questions about sense-making and the metaphysical impulse – the desire to define and to understand, but also that which is just beyond knowing.