SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
PLEASE NOTE THE TIMING AND THE ORDER OF SPEAKERS MAY CHANGE!
10:00 - 10:15 AM Welcome remarks
with lesley roberts and carrie burckle, textile arts la co-directors
We're looking forward to talking about the ideas that engage us – as artists, educators, designers, consumers, and citizens of Los Angeles. We'll review our intentions for the day and introduce our speakers.
10:15 - 11:15 AM KEYNOTE ADDRESS: FINDING YOUR METHOD
with JANICE ARNOLD
Janice Arnold has made it her life work to understand Felt as a process and material, from researching and working with nomadic tribes of Central Asia and Mongolia to studying the world of industrial Felt. Since 1999 she has been inventing techniques and combinations of materials which challenge our concepts and expectations of this textile.
Arnold approaches her art and projects with intellectual curiosity and an open-minded design sense grounded in traditional methods. Each installation is a marriage of art, architecture, history, and science. Her unwavering dedication to honoring the nomadic philosophy of living in harmony with nature combines to give this ancient art form renewed respect. Arnold is changing the way people think about Felt as fabric, art, and as a healing force in the modern world.
Equally comfortable as a solo artist, collaborator or building community with textiles, Arnold is driven by design, refinement, and challenge. Over the last 20 years, she has created an ambitious body of work with diverse surface textures and weights, ranging from wafer thin, light-responsive pieces that respond to breath, to dense, resilient textiles evoking the essence of stone. She cohesively balances function and design with intention, working with organic elements to create textile art in harmony with purpose. The daughter of a cartographer, Arnold grew up with scale as a sixth sense. She looks at the world in landscapes rather than countries, contour lines rather than boundaries, and sees texture and color as elements that connect us with the natural world.
11:15 - 11:30 AM BREAK
11:30 - 12:15 AM HERITAGE and MEANING IN NIGERIAN TEXTILES
with ENO JONAH
Textile designer Eno Jonah grew up in Nigeria, a country rich in diverse cultures, skilled artisans, and a weaving tradition dating back hundreds of years. She has traveled extensively in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. Her first-hand experience with the beauty and cultural importance of textiles in diverse parts of the world has influenced her cross-cultural perspective. She has gained valuable insights on the nature of making textiles and their capacity for transmitting cultural knowledge. In this talk, Eno will discuss the importance of Nigerian textiles and color in everyday life and for special occasions. She will also discuss the tension between indigenous techniques and motifs against a backdrop of contemporary taste.
Eno has a degree in culture and development from Indiana University. She is the founder and textile designer for Nzuri Textiles, which produces small batch textiles using renowned West African weavers, working with locally sourced and sustainable dyes. She resides in the Sierra foothills of Northern California.
12:15 - 12:30 PM WEAVING SPIRITS INTO THE LOOM: LAO ANIMISM AND ICONOGRAPHY
with VANNY DISERBEAU
Northeastern Laos has a rich weaving tradition that incorporates imagery from Buddhist and Hindu mythology and shamanic spiritualism. It is said that when certain spirits are woven into a textile, the cloth is transformed. Used by shamans to perform healing rituals and ward off evil spirits, these ceremonial cloths are used to communicate with ancestral spirits. In this brief presentation, Vanny Diserbeau will present symbols and designs in the spirit religion that emerge from the symbiotic relationship between the shaman and the weaver.
Vanny is the founder of Red Tribe, a textile brand originating from her grandmother’s village in Laos. During her graduate studies, Vanny interned at a DC-based INGO working in central Laos in the area of community development and capacity building. She lives and works in Culver City, CA.
12:30 - 1:30 PM CATERED LUNCH
1:30 - 2:15 PM A BODY OF MATERIALS
with SARAH HASKELL
Artist Sarah Haskell will explore parallels between the human body and textile materials/methods, the transformation of materials such as paper or linen, the textile methods that create this change, and the similarities of these transformations within our physical bodies.
In her own words, “I am conscious of working with materials that are subject to change/transformation from light, humidity, abrasion and temperature – as is our physical body. Pushing this characteristic, I intentionally age and weather my fabrics. I find this intentional abuse and breaking down of my “precious” fabrics confronts my own attachment to permanence and my futile attempts to stop the aging process within my own body.
I recently completed “Well Used, Well Loved,” a community project that explores beauty, age and impermanence in the human body and the physical world. Moving forward I find myself facing a deeper curiosity about metamorphosis and the natural process of transformation. In this talk I will present my experiments, studio practices, completed pieces and community art projects that explore this theme of transformation, impermanence, aging and attachment to the physical.”
2:15 - 3:00 PM JUST ADDED!! BORDERLAND
WITH ALIA ALI
Textile is significant as it is something that we are born into it, we sleep in it, we eat on it, we define ourselves by it, we shield ourselves with it and, eventually, we die in it. While it unites us, it simultaneously divides us, both physically and symbolically. In her work, Alia Ali uses textiles to represent the fabricated barriers in society that often segregate and connect us through fear, discrimination, and misunderstanding. What side of the fabric are we on and can we be on both sides at once? When we exclude, does it come from the fear of being excluded ourselves? Isn’t exclusion motivated by a primitive fear and search for security? A form of self-preservation? Or is it a metamorphosis of the outcast into the villain? What is it that we fear from discovering that lies beneath the cloth?
Alia Ali seeks to blur these boundaries and encourages people to confront their prejudices by countering the polarization and miscommunication that imperils communities across the world. Her own multi-lingual lens has demonstrated how language can be a form of misinterpretation rather than a means of understanding. Therefore, her immersive installations of light, pattern and textiles seek to move past language to offer a more expansive, experiential understanding of self, culture and nation.
To create BORDERLAND, Alia Ali traveled nine months across eleven regions of the world interacting with textile artisans who live in communities scarred by the imprints of power and destruction. In the series, these artisans pose beneath the textiles they have created, expressing their stories visually through color, texture and pattern, and, in so doing, creating connections across cultures that dismantle physical, political and historical borders.
3:00 - 3:15 pM BREAK
3:15 - 4:00 PM FAST FORWARD: 50 YEARS OF TEXTILES IN LA ART, CRAFT, AND DESIGN
with EMILY ZAIDEN, CRAFT IN AMERICA
As the closing speaker for the 2019 Materiality & Method Summit, Emily Zaiden will offer an examination of how the greater Los Angeles area has been an epicenter for textile experimentation, expression, and innovation over the past half century.
Emily Zaiden is Director and curator of the Craft in America Center in Los Angeles, where she has curated more than forty exhibitions focused on contemporary craft, art, and design for the Center and outside venues. Zaiden has lectured on contemporary craft and American and international decorative arts topics at conferences and museums across the country including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Craft Contemporary, and Milwaukee Art Museum. After completing an M.A. at the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture and a B.A. from UC Berkeley in American Studies and Italian, Zaiden served as Research Associate to the Decorative Arts department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Prior to becoming Craft in America Center Director in 2010, she was a research editor for Architectural Digest and she consulted for private collections and institutions focusing on historic American and European decorative arts, material culture, architecture and design.
4:00 - 6:00 PM COCKTAILS + TRUNK SHOWs
We invite you to remain after the summit to mingle with the speakers and other guests, as well as enjoy cocktails, light bites, and show-and-tell with Textile Arts LA members and friends.