Artist Statement

When I first started working with fibers, I thought of my work as paintings or drawings, which just happen to use thread, twine, wire, textiles, or other fiber-based media. Over the years, though, the natural qualities of fiber in my work began to stand out and become more important even as the tactile in today’s internet-obsessed age seems to lose relevance.

The repetitive nature of pattern and the hard-edged, rigid nature of “the stitch” align my thread-marks with an industrial product.  At the same time, each individual filament of a thread has connotations of fiber optics or network cables.  The individual stitches begin to take on characteristics of text on a display, lines of programming, or pixels, thus aligning the seemingly craft-oriented, industrial construction method with the more artificial and arguably colder digital realm.

These contrasting aspects of my work should feel very familiar to contemporary viewers.  Anyone who lives and works surrounded by a computer, cell phone, power lines, ring tones, tv remotes, and the other pieces of technology that makes their world progress has probably thought about their life in terms of conduits and connections.

In my work I am attempting to map the physical and mental aspects of a person or personality and describe this person in terms of connectivity, and the exchange of ideas.   The relationship of our physical, analog pasts to the present digital world creates a fibrous map of each subject’s place in today’s rapidly changing society and the alignment of the traditional with the contemporary .

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A Holly Sphar's fine art portfolio: fiber arts, portraits, digital, drawings, photography