I’m a fan of artwork that is topographical or topological. (topical, not so much) Sometimes I like to think of the Earth’s surface as a slow moving textile. Its the flexible plastic layer that drapes on top of the mantle and core; or something like that. (Hell, I’d argue that roads are non-woven textile ribbons of asphalt on top of that…)
Sonjie Solomon creates articulated cellular structures out of thread and organza. I just about jumped out of my seat when I saw this work; I have been working on the woven equivalent of this structure, but many less layers… but having done some sewn studies for that, I am fully aware of the number of hours that were probably spent at the sewing machine for these creations.
Sonjie’s constructions create landscape by building the topography with intersecting vertical planes. I’m taken by the ethereal quality of the sewn organza that creates the cells of semi rigid organic architecture. The relics of crafting further add to the lightness of the pieces by allowing the uncut threads coming out of the seams to suggest a naturalistic element; a wispiness; onto the engineered construction.
I love that these collapse like they are 3-dimensional maps to be carried with you. I imagine that if I had the opportunity to see and handle one in person, I’d be able to use these to plot my travel plans in three dimensional space; but first I’d have to learn the language. The video she provides of the de-installation reminds me of the act of packing a parachute or a loose choreography about the dance of folding a road map.
Because of their lightness, I would imagine these structures respond to subtle shifts in air movement; that they shift and sway with the passing of each viewer. I would fear a collapse with too much motion but because these structures rise up out of the floor, I wonder if there is an action similar to flying buttresses? or like foothills holding up mountains?
More work at sonjiesolomon.blogspot.com