I am a recent convert to the fiber arts. Even though UNL Womanhouse made a very large house out of fabric, I was still focused on the events and discussions and interactions as the “art,” rather than the form. This time around, I’m more susceptible to fibers’ lure of just being: while painting (my art learning) has to try and try and try for something that is both material and metaphorical, fiber is inherently both. It is art and craft, functional and philosophical, quiet and radical in its own unassuming world of makers and thinkers.
I could bring many parallels from fiber arts into feminism, but it is this being both that suits the particular endeavor of Woven so well. We all live in this world, we know what is happening: our feminisms need to stretch and take refuge, radicalize and normalize, be very, very bold, and very, very still. I want Woven to be a space for all of these conditions to be together— not a place of comfort necessarily, but of non-judgement, of complicated non-binary existence. I truly believe it’s only when we lift the fear of doing/thinking/acting in the “wrong way” that we start to do things right. When our insecure egos stop pushing themselves forward to prove themselves, we can finally be present.
And this is where fiber arts meets feminism for me: in it’s unpretentious presence. It’s what I want my feminism to look like and how I want my activism to be ingrained in the daily. I crave a place to sit and learn and listen and work alongside hands and minds that put things together differently than I do. For me, that is the space where I can be challenged and accept the ongoing, personal work I need to do to change.