Janice Arnold: Felting in the Extreme


January


With Janice Arnold, Artist Saturday, January 9th, 2016, 10 a.m. Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum

Felt, one of the oldest and most prevailing textile techniques in the world has infinite potential. Discovering those possibilities has led me on a journey as artist, inventor and researcher, and one that continues to evolve. I approach felting with respect for its traditions and history, collaborating with the raw materials to discover new variations for a modern world. From featherweight pieces used in interior design to dense slabs appropriate for architectural purposes, handmade felt and its’ extreme versatility is a never-ending journey. In this presentation, I’ll share my inspirations, process and resulting projects including installations for Cirque du Soleil, a felt surround for Wolfgang Puck’s CUT restaurant at the Venetian in Las Vegas, and a magical yurt designed and installed as the centerpiece of the Fashioning Felt exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. Lastly, I’ll reveal my latest experimental felt extremes – from community-based social practice to blurring boundaries between the handmade, industrial technology and science.

Janice Arnold’s art and installations have been redefining the boundaries of handmade FELT since 1999. The daughter of a cartographer, she learned scale as second sense. Arnold’s virtuosity is evident in the multifaceted character of her work. She creates permanent and temporary installations, ranging from intricately executed pieces to elaborate environments incorporating her handmade textiles made from raw natural fibers. The textures range from supple and luminous to dense, resilient and complex. Her work honors an ancient tradition yet stretches it to new places with innovation, exploration, quality and scale putting her in a league of her own as an artist and designer. Image Credit: Fred Conrad, The New York Times PALACE YURT-Site specific installation Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York City Fashioning Felt Exhibition: March 6-Sept 7 2009