Fine Art

Hope Carolan

I have used discarded objects to create sculptures inspired by looms and weaving. The objects used are mostly domestic to explore themes of craft and domestic work. In the past craft and domestic work have both been commonly viewed as ‘women’s work’ and have thus often been undervalued. I hope to add new value to these discarded objects through the laborious task of weaving, transforming them into artworks. I have chosen to weave using jute due to its strong links to Dundee’s past textile industry. In my experience my mum taught me how to knit, my sister how to embroider, a friend how to crochet and I taught myself how to weave. I am interested in the tradition of passing down stories and skills between women and wonder about its relevance in the 21st century. Craft skills which in the past were passed on person to person are now often learned online with many people learning these skills later rather than as children. Weaving in mythology was used to represent a mysterious knowledge exclusive to women. Mythological figures such as Penelope, wife of Odysseus, used her knowledge of craft to deceive her suitors, saying she would only marry one of them once she finished weaving her tapestry. She would weave all day and unpick her tapestry threads at night, so it would never be complete. Typically weaving hides the warping thread structure, I have chosen to keep this exposed having ‘unfinished weaves’ in reference to Penelope as well as the phrase “a woman’s work is never done.”

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Fine Art

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