Our tastes may vary slightly in other areas like music or food, but on the issue of giant textiles the entire Anthology team is in full agreement: we love them! Alexis fashioned a pair of huge knitting needles out of pipe to create a blanket for her friend, and I’ve been concocting ways to surround myself with oversized knits ever since I saw the work of Christien Meinderstma years ago. And I’m now adding Dana Barnes to the list of artists whom I admire and envy.
I don’t think I’ve seen a cooler image of an artist at work than those above, which depict Dana engulfed in her own massive braided creations. These photos attest to the amount of human energy it takes to produce and manipulate such materials. What I love about fiber art is that you don’t just consume it visually—these soft sculptures engage your sense of touch and overwhelm you with their physicality. Dana’s work is playful, intense, and graceful, all at once. I admire how she highlights the tactile and gestural qualities of the medium with such simple techniques: a braid, a tangle, and row of circles. To find out more about Dana’s work you can visit her site. You may also want to read this wonderful article on Dana and view a tour of her loft and studio on The New York Times. I hope I’ve added a new favorite artist to your list as well, and if you know of any artists working in giant textiles, please send a link our way, because I’m officially obsessed.