Growing up, my pink bedroom was my castle where I hid and developed my voice. It was a studio full of projects at different levels of completion; I knit, I sewed, I painted with my make-up. I became deeply engaged with knitting, embroidery, and weaving. From this connection to the traditions of textile arts, I gained an appreciation for the skill, vision, and time that this work requires. I was fascinated with the emotions and stories that were woven into the fabric of these projects. It was where I forged my commitment to make visible the hidden stories of women’s lives, including myself, as they grappled with sexism.
In my current work, I use non-traditional materials to create a bridge between past textile traditions and more contemporary approaches. I reclaim the color pink, a beautiful color, which for many is so overused to represent femininity that it has become oppressive. I paint patterns on Dura-Lar and use old diaries as references for the veiled stories that are painted in the work. The repetitive patterns and lines make references to the emotions woven into the meditative act of textile work. In my approach, the personal becomes political.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Eileen Hoffman is a sculptor and installation artist. As a teen she taught herself to knit, embroider and crochet, spending hours making intricate projects. From that involvement, Hoffman developed a deep appreciation of the time, intelligence and skill women put into their work, as well as a fascination for the stories that get woven into these creations. Hoffman attempts to make those stories visible.
Hoffman studied art at Skidmore college, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and received her MFA from Indiana University. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows throughout the United States and internationally including the Atlantic Gallery, Carter Burden Gallery, Ely Center for Contemporary Art, Its Liquid, Denise Bibro Gallery, The Islip Museum, The Morris Museum, the Noyes Museum, and the Bishkek Collection, Russia. Her outdoor installations include the Connective Project Installation, Art In Odd Places and Prayers for the Pandemic-Prayers for Progress. Her work is also featured in Surface Design Journal’s annual International Exhibition in Print, UPPERCASE Magazine, ArtSpiel and Les Femmes Folles. Hoffman currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
© Eileen Hoffman