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Exhibition

Andrea Donnelly: We’ve Met Before

August 26, 2017–January 28, 2018
North Carolina Museum of Art

“Cloth, in its infinite variety and varied significance, is deeply linked to our histories and emotions through the body. Whether it’s woven to hang on the wall or to grace the neck and shoulders, I make cloth that creates connection.” —Andrea Donnelly

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North Carolina–raised artist Andrea Donnelly explores the dynamic between the formulaic methods of handwoven cloth and the impulsiveness of ink in the creation of her larger-than-life textiles, featuring images of the human body, blots, and delicate floral abstractions. Her art furnishes both mental and physical spaces by creating an intimate, tactile relationship between the viewer and cloth. She employs photography to create the silhouettes within her work, giving her art a precision that reiterates the meticulous process of hand weaving fiber.

Calling her work “a literal record of its making,” Donnelly uses textiles to replicate the process of creating a mirror image on paper with ink through dyeing, weaving, unweaving, and weaving again. “Through passage of time and rhythm of repetition,” she notes, “the actions of weaving are captured and layered like memory in the buildup of thread upon thread. As I weave, I submerge image within its structure. The density and transparency of that structure give form to both image and atmosphere. The cloth I create is a mental landscape, quietly inhabited.”

Andrea Donnelly, Body Blot #1, 2011, handwoven cotton, dyed and painted, 77 x 108 in., North Carolina Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the William R. Roberson Jr. and Frances M. Roberson Endowed Fund for North Carolina Art, © 2011 Andrea Donnelly

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