Artist Vanessa Filley Stitches Meditative Cosmic Maps Brimming with Geometry and Symmetries
April 13, 2023
Vanessa Filley describes a recent body of work as “imagined cosmic map(s),” charts that connect the traditions of fiber arts with the present and the artist’s own questions of finding one’s place in the world. Titled In the Delicate Meshes, the series is comprised of sewn pieces that Filley likens to quilts, with stitches layered into symmetric patchworks of color and texture. “I am interested in the energetic threads that orient and connect us, ground us in place and time, yet tether us to our ancestral past and future—the lines that bring us home,” she says.
Filley references artists like Lenore Tawney, Hilma af Klint, and the women of Gees Bend Quilters, whose practices connect to spirituality, nature, and ancestral histories. Taut threads and twists embody tension and connection between both ends of a stitch, the intricate structures of the works as a whole, and the long tradition of fiber arts. “Each piece in this series is a quilted conversation, a way of taking the disparate questions and feeling of a given moment and mingling them with inspiration from the outside world and the work of those who came before,” the artist says.
In the Delicate Meshes was recently on view at Vivid Art Gallery in Winnetka, and you can find more of the series along with an archive of Filley’s works on her site and Instagram.
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