Date of this Version
Published in Textiles and Politics: Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium Proceedings, Washington, DC, September 18- September 22, 2012.
Upon earning my doctorate from New York University in Assyriology (the study of the earliest literate Mesopotamian cultures) I began drawing upon ancient Near Eastern traditions and techniques for a medium with which to create expressive original contemporary art. My "canvas" is flat-woven prayer carpets, carpet beds, and flying carpets, all made from lustrous natural handspun colored wools and vegetal dyes. The traditional uses and understandings of these carpets allude to our various states of consciousness, and to life's key events: sleeping and dreaming, conceiving and giving birth, convalescing or dying, and prayer and meditation. In addition to my work in this ancient art form, my presentation will explore questions about how curatorial and academic art research practice are executed on the field of contemporary tapestry and fiber art, and will suggest ways to correct the problems of the field's invisibility.