Using textiles as a conceptual and technical framework, I construct objects and spaces which home desires and desire home. My work is informed by intensive textile processes, particularly embroidery and loom-based handweaving techniques, with concepts drawn from personal research in Queer Theory and the histories of fiber arts. Cloth, such as flags, handkerchiefs, and clothing, has long played an integral part of the LGBTQ+ community as both covert signifiers, on the one hand, and public expression of identity, on the other.
More recently, I have been focusing on objects, exploring the tensions of assimilation and resistance in art-making and gender performance. With TOWELS and FALSE TOWELS, I question the utility of common objects while playing with the comfort and unease of home spaces; contemplating how queer relationships with shame, joy, and belonging manifest in the items closest to us. These twinned objects, the FALSE TOWEL and the TOWEL come from the same materials and the same set up on my loom, meaning they are quite literally “cut from the same cloth.”
Through my practice, I establish a visual vocabulary for queer domestic space using my greatest tool as a lesbian and a craftsperson, my hands.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kira Keck is an Artist-Weaver, Designer-Craftsman, and gender-fluid dyke who primarily works with text and textiles. Kira received a BFA in Fiber in 2016 from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Upon graduation, they were awarded a Windgate Fellowship which allowed them to explore weaving pedagogy and establish a studio. During this time they attended craft and folk schools including Vävstuga, a Swedish weaving school, in Shelburne Falls, MA. In 2018, they were an artist in residence at Fabric of Life in Shelburne Falls, MA and Institute 4 Labor Generosity Workers and Uniforms in Long Beach, CA. They are a current MFA candidate at Cranbrook Academy of Art where they continue to explore fiber departments as historically homosocial spaces, the erotic potential of textiles, and their dedication to cloth that is humble in use but flamboyant in presentation.
© Kira Keck