Narrative Threads: Fiber Art Today
Spring 2023 Exhibition
The medium of fiber has played an increasingly important role in the field of global
contemporary art over the last decade. Narrative Threads: Fiber Art Today celebrates a new
generation of international artists operating at the forefront of this trend, exploring the ways in
which fiber-based media can communicate both personal and political issues central to their
practice. The featured artists have chosen a medium that carries the weight of history as one of
civilization’s oldest art forms, while speaking to contemporary issues of identity, gender, race,
sexuality, and power. Often figurative in form, incorporating materials that carry both individual
meaning and broad cultural significance, the selected works can be read simultaneously as
autobiographical and socially critical.
Why is fiber art, frequently produced by hand, so prominent at this moment of rapid
technological innovation? What is it about the medium that compels artists working today to
engage in a practice distinct from painting, photography, sculpture, and video? What is
appealing about a medium that has historically been associated with female spheres of
domesticity? Each artist addresses these questions in unique ways, incorporating diverse
techniques and styles to reflect how textiles, a historically peripheral medium in fine art circles,
can speak to issues at the center of contemporary lived experience.
For several artists presented in this exhibition, identifying as women, LGBTQ+, and persons of
color, textiles can be a format for expanding the breadth of voices represented in art, and
drawing attention to how those voices are perceived by others. Weaving, a metaphor for
repair can point to connections between individuals, indicating a means of promoting healing
in the wake of trauma and building community in the face of adversity. Each of these artists
speaks through textiles about personal, social, and political histories in ways that are
experiential, fragmentary, and fundamentally tactile, inviting the viewer to consider new
perspectives through diverse narrative threads.
Featured artists include: Hangama Amiri, Diedrick Brackens, Josh Faught, Christina Forrer, Ana
Maria Hernando, Woomin Kim, Eric N. Mack, Nnenna Okore, Patrick Quarm, Marie Watt,
Qualeasha Wood, Billie Zangewa, and Sarah Zapata, among others.
This exhibition is curated by Alison Weaver, Executive Director, Frauke V. Josenhans, Curator,
and Molly Everett, Assistant Curator, of the Moody Center for the Arts. It is made possible by
the Moody Center for the Arts Founders Circle and the Elizabeth Lee Moody Excellence Fund for