Fiber Sculpture 15

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment
Object #57526
David Somers, Fiber Sculpture 15, 2016, raffia and handspan fiber on canvas, 24.0 × 18.0 × 3.0 cm (~ 9.5" × 7" × 3/4"). [Object #57476].

This piece was inspired by two elements.

Firstly, I had a very small sample of handspan yarn left over from Fiber Sculpture Six. This has some interesting artifacts (“cocoons”) where blue-dyed fibers has been spun into the main fiber.


Secondly, an earlier doodle where the fibers are sparsely woven. This would require considerably less material than the usual dense color fields.



Before making the “final” sculpture, I made a quick attempt using only one fiber, i.e. just handspun yarn instead of my usual yarn and raffia combination.


I did not find the result to be as interesting as my previous pieces. The pattern is uninteresting and it is almost impossible to see that the fibers have been weaved together rather than simply placed over each other, something that is obvious when using fibers with contrasting colors. This initial sculpture was partially undone, and one set of yarn replaced with yellow raffia.

After making this piece I took a quick photograph of it. I noticed that, unlike my previous pieces, this one cast shadows. I took a series of images with the angle of the light at different angles to see the result.



This is a departure from my previous fiber sculptures which are, in effect, color fields. By having such an open weave this draws the spectators attention the fiber itself, and also to the canvas (which is deliberately raw — it has only been treated with gesso and is otherwise unadulterated). This is apparent in primarily thought the perception of the fiber as the figure and the canvas the ground. But there is also a shadow cast by the fiber on the canvas, which becomes another elements and can be perceived as either figure or ground by the spectator.

For future development along this line one path is to produce other works where the angle of the fibers changes. From this fairly “open” angle to a “closed” one where the fibers are horizontal.

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