As a visual artist working with fiber, drawing, and painting, Abby Sherrill draws from her artistic education at both Auburn University and the University of North Texas by using scanned images and manipulated materials to create sculptures and installations that examine “the evolution of simplicity and consider the ways in which we define the world around us by playfully reflecting on the philosophy of the past.” Her award-winning works have been featured in numerous galleries and solo exhibitions across Texas.
Gabrielle Duggan draws from her training Fine Arts and Fashion at the State University of New York in Buffalo as well as Fiber Arts and Surface Design at North Carolina State University to create installations that engage the audience by commenting on social issues, such as the elusiveness and impermanence of power. Through a combination of materials such as fibers, glass, roofing tar, and traditional fiber work techniques, her work seeks to “expose physical and social tensions.”
This focus on evaluating the “slippage of power from one subject to another” can also be reflected even in the actual construction of a piece. For instance, in working with a digital jacquard loom for the woven piece “Honey Still Floats,” Gabrielle sought to manipulate the digital design through hand weaving techniques that disrupted the uniformity of the industrial machine. The result is a piece that “almost unweave[s] itself during the process of being woven,” one that becomes increasingly chaotic the more it attempts to be orderly.
Chaos versus order is also the theme behind one of Abby Sherrill’s own pieces, a fabric piece on panel known as “Spit Bath.” Each element of design responds to one another in a conversation that reflects the ways in which Abby observes “we either assimilate or accommodate information.” The tightly woven grid system that makes up the cloth serves as a backdrop for the “crazy, chaotic, gestural marks” she creates on top. The spontaneity and impulsiveness of these markings are responded to with a systematic framework of stitching that attempts to cover up these markings, “reinforce[ing] this idea of organization and systems on top.”
We here at the SEAD Gallery are honored to be hosting Gabrielle Duggan and Abby Sherrill as they showcase their collaborative fiber arts exhibit Soft Pull, which will be on display from November 15, 2018, until January 12th, 2019. If you would like to know more about the creation, inspiration, or meaning of individual pieces, we invite you to listen to the audio commentaries provided to us by the artists by clicking here.
The SEAD Gallery would also like to thank our Silver Sponsor Jennifer Fredericks, a real-estate broker from a family of award winning knitters and weavers with more than 20 years of experience serving clients in both Bryan and College Station. We would also like to thank our Bronze Sponsor, the Institute for Applied Creativity, an organization that seeks to harness the inherent creativity of individuals to “address critical problems shared by communities throughout the world.” Their generosity helps us to fulfill our mission of promoting the visual arts in Bryan/College Station.