Katie Vota

To consider cloth as an object, rather than a material, it becomes concrete, less malleable somehow. Suddenly it is structured, rigid, with architecture of its own, and I find its possibilities are within it instead of in how it might be changed. It has borders, delineated edges. As a weaver, I have been taught to deny the continuation of these edges—the fringes that result in weaving cloth. Fringe moves and shifts, creates textures, shadows, disruptions, and hints at the undoing of the cloth. It is now this edge that seems to hold possibilities for further exploration. What does it mean to deny the body of the cloth by creating solely the fringes, the borders? What does it mean to make a border visible, to make it the focus rather than relegating it to the margins to exist in the space between cloth and wall? I am interested in these liminal, transitory spaces. I am interested in translating them into larger works that create boundaries in space, causing disruptions in the way a place is used and the way an eye drifts through a room.

In thinking about the function of a boundary, the work delineates the way a viewer might move through a space, and how they see and are being seen. However, boundaries and borders are permeable and changing. Consequentially, I gravitate towards rubber as a material for the fabrication of my fringes and boundaries. It is inherently elastic and impermanent, referencing histories of colonization, industry, and our current age of disposability. The cutting and undoing of the rubber, transforming it from trash into something useable feels akin to the labor and repetition of weaving. There is a consciousness in weaving as to where cloth comes from, in the ease of acquiring it versus the labor of making it. This is the essence of my process in making work—a conscious understanding of ease versus labor, the reuse and transformation of materials that have histories, gravity, flaws, and outside limitations.