“There are certain techniques that take an entire lifetime to learn,” says Christy Matson, who for the past two decades has been working as a fiber artist. Matson’s practice blends thousand-year-old weaving traditions with 21st-century innovation. She designs her textiles through Photoshop, then weaves them by hand on a Jacquard loom that tracks her progress on a computer. The works, she says, exist between an “analog, physical version of life and this sort of hybrid space of being online.”
Matson starts by sourcing her materials from clothing manufacturers’ denim and cotton surplus. She then paints geometric patterns on paper, which she uses to create a paper yarn, before pairing both materials on the loom, contrasting the linen’s gruffness with the ropey sinew of the paper yarn. “I’m not really so interested in the image on its own,” she says. Rather, her focus is in pairing “the image together with that particular material,” which she hopes will encourage viewers to explore how the tactility of each thread informs the larger composition — and not the other way around. As for the designs themselves, Matson evokes nature through minimalist gestures, suggesting the mountain ranges of Washington State, where she grew up, or the California desert near her current home of Los Angeles. “It’s almost unintentional,” she says. “But the landscape keeps coming back.”
Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.