I draw hyperreal trees. I contour the tree’s shape, so the trees are flattened and animated. I then double them like in a reflection creating Rorschach-like imagery. Each tree is specific, and the titles reference their actual location around metropolitan Detroit. Trees pay homage to their circumstance with their powerful presence. They are true to the chances of their time and place. By personifying trees iconographically, I put them forth as physical and emotional forces in the urban landscape.
These works are from a series that I call Handwoven Drawings. Handwoven drawings are created in three phases. First, I draw on slats of softwood. Then, I hand-cut the slats into even thinner strips. In order, each strip is woven into the warp on a floor loom using a traditional textile pattern. Essentially, the drawing is cut apart then re-assembled within the structure of interlacing threads. Finally, I manipulate the surface of the weaving using other techniques like embroidery and collage.
The Handwoven Drawings are part of my larger body of work that includes Interactive Elastic Installations, Wearable Woven Structures, Interactive Sculptures, and drawing. I work under the umbrella of fiber art, mixing mediums of drawing, painting, weaving, sculpture, and installation. The curiosity that drives my work centers on perception and creating a sublime sensation. Beauty to me is physical and carries the strongest psychological impact. The beauty I take in and the beauty I create ties closely to the body moving through spaces both architectural like cathedrals and natural like the forest.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Marcelyn Bennett-Carpenter is an interdisciplinary fiber artist and educator at the Kingswood Weaving Studio at Cranbrook (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA). Bennett-Carpenter earned a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2003. Since then she has taught fiber arts in the largest hand-weaving studio in North America. Bennett-Carpenter has taught at Penland School of Craft in North Carolina and attended the Open Residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Bennett-Carpenter maintains an active practice through her studio in Pontiac, Michigan, and exhibits throughout North America including Extreme Fibers: Icons and the New Edge (Muskegon Art Museum), Landscapes Real and Imagined (Site: Brooklyn, New York), and The Social Fabric (Textile Society of America, Vancouver, British Columbia). Recent work includes a commission for the Applebaum Family Foundation Office (Birmingham, Michigan) and a large-scale installation for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (Detroit).
© Marcelyn Bennett-Carpenter