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Fibrous Otherworlds

Fibrous Otherworlds
Kaitlin Bryson

Titus Steiner Cody

Sienna Sullivan-Ginn

Cannupa Hanska Luger

Merce Mitchell

Gina Telcocci

Curated by Carol Cooper

July 28 – August 27, 2023


Opening Reception

Friday July 28, 5–7 pm

Axle Contemporary Mobile Artspace

 parked in front of

 Santa Fe Farmers Market Building

1607 Paseo Peralta, Santa Fe

Sometimes, it feels like the world we inhabit is in transition: from an old world of handmade objects and spaces that is moving at an ever-increasing pace through industrialization, assembly lines, and more recently on to robots and automation, and now entering realities that exist inside our screens and devices, generated by algorithms, and divorced from our physical bodies. Simultaneously, the arbiters of Contemporary Fine Art have often denigrated objects made of clay, glass, or fiber. 

Recently, we've witnessed a resurgence of artists who have moved from the primacy of the disembodied electronic device, to elevate the importance of handwork, of the craft of making, of the real and embodied, in their art practice.

Our use of fiber is as old as human culture. We wrap ourselves in it to stay warm, twist it into thread and yarn and rope to haul our burdens, make airplane wings and parachutes from it, and now even use it to hold rays of light to transmit digital data.


In Fibrous Otherworlds, curator Carol Cooper has chosen work from six New Mexico-based artists who use the elemental materiality of fiber to express visions of alternate realities and unknown or imagined futures.

Cooper writes:

I see foraging as central to each artist‘s practice - be it in nature, the environment, and the cosmos; personal, community or universal cultural inquiry; creative repurposing; or social and environmental remediation. 



Kaitlyn Bryson works in a space where art, ecology, and environmental activism meet. Beginning with techniques associated with quiet domesticity she naturally dyes, pieces, and and embroiders cloth. She then moves to collaboration with the activism of various fungi. She inoculates mycelium into the cloth – which is both a structure and a food for the fungus – thereby consuming and replacing the cloth. The works use metaphor and science to comment on and advocate issues of environmental and social justice. Bryson envisions speculative futures where fungi grown into clothing can protect us from radiation and form the soles of our shoes. Artist Statement+Bio+



Titus Steiner Cody’s (Diné/Navajo) weavings are deeply rooted in Navajo tradition and the teachings of his grandmothers, while also leaping across boundaries and reveling in innovation and change. His compositions are woven vertically on the 7’ tall loom he welded, even though many compositions are horizontal, so Cody is often shifting his vision by 90 degrees as he works. His painterly and expressionistic weavings envision and manifest the ancestral stories, vast landscapes, night skies, and the dreamily otherworldly natural world in which, as he explains, Everything changes, everything rights itself. He lives and works in the heart of the Pinehill/Ramah Navajo community in Western New Mexico. Artist Statement+Bio+



Sienna Sulllivan-Ginn is a fiber punk soft sculpture doll maker who mixes old traditions learned from her grandmother with conceptual underpinnings learned in art school. Her evolving practice and techniques range from repurposing, piecing, hand-sewing, and embroidering fabric into sculpted forms; to found object and hammered repoussé metal embellishments; to a crocheted portrait. Her goal is to create a fusion relevant to future generations. Sometimes playful extensions of herself, her mixed media assemblages are also sly and potent observations of contemporary society. Artist Statement+Bio+   



Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara/Lakota) is an avid maker, performer, speaker, and teacher. From his home in the forests of Glorieta, he travels widely to share his work, often together with his family. Although he uses clay for much of his work, he began incorporating fiber into his assemblages in the past decade (see N(o)stalgia from 2013 at Axle). Much of his recent work involves regalia and performance in his Future Ancestral Technologies series, which blend traditional knowledge, values, and worldview with visions for a future using the lens of science-fiction. Artist Statement+Bio+



Merce Mitchell hand dyes, cards and spins wool for her business, while also felting unspun wool fiber (roving) prior to spinning, adding stitching and embellishments to create biomorphic sculptural works that evoke familiar forms (roots, seedpods, ‘plant things’, mushrooms, the human heart) yet suggest things we have not seen or cannot see-- other forms from other worlds.  Mitchell lives and works in the remote wilds of Northern New Mexico and gathers inspiration for her forms from rocks and other natural forms that she observes in the landscape. She incorporates found materials such as lichens into her newest series of pods. Her series of heart sculptures currently in-process relate to and evoke healing in the physical and emotional body. Artist Statement+Bio+



Gina Telcocci uses assemblage and weaving to sculpt reeds and willow, grown at her simple retreat on the banks of the Pecos River, into open armatures and substructures for her sinuous paper-covered vessels, orbs, pods, and rattle-like forms. Her works evoke flowers, musical or animal horns, and fish traps. Incorporating gourds and other organic and found objects, her sculptures convey an enchantment with materials from the earth, wild worlds, and gifts from the earth and sea. Artist Statement+Bio+



Exhibition curator Carol Cooper has over thirty years of experience in arts and culture programming, management and capacity building, working with artists; communities; nonprofits; state, federal and international agencies; and as an independent consultant. At New Mexico Arts, she facilitated statewide and grassroots partnerships as a grants manager for emerging nonprofits and rural arts enterprises, and founded/managed the New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails, a cultural tourism partnership with 70 sites statewide. Her previous experience includes ten years as director of education at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe.




Listen to Steiner Cody and Kaitlin Bryson talk about their work on Coffee And Culture


Titus Steiner Cody

Kaitlin Bryson



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