“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.”
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.”
Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. Generous support is provided by the Calvin and Marisa Allen Foundation, Anne Allen Cheatham, and Lizzie Cheatham McNairy and Charlie McNairy on behalf of the Matrons of the Arts Initiative. This exhibition is also made possible, in part, by North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.