Woven Wall Hangings by Danielle Folkerts

A painter by trade, I first dipped into the fibre arts when I took a fabric dyeing and printing on fabric class during my BFA; and so began my exploration and fascination with textile art. Over the past several years I have fallen in love with weaving and working with textiles. Painting and weaving, both, share my favourite process of layering and building up a variety textures and colors to create rich and intricate finished works of art.  Recently, I have found the tactile act of weaving a much needed creative outlet; it’s been a refreshing and therapeutic change of pace. I have been finding myself lost in the meditative and methodical rhythm of weaving, and I have set aside time to conceptually explore this craft-form’s powerful ability to influence mental health and wellness.

I truly believe as an artist it is important to dive into a variety of mediums and explore and play to simply better understand basic artistic fundamentals. Your lessons can be traced across multiple mediums and influence your practice.

Trying something new in the studio is like travelling, it’s a break from routine that makes us hyper aware of everything around us. When we travel we become increasingly exposed to new smells, foods, colors, views, sounds, people and opportunities. Our senses become alive; and we generate new ideas that can encourage us to explore and grow. Whether you simply walk a new route to work, or fly across the globe on an unknown adventure, creating new experiences promotes personal development and appreciation for the world we live in. And as time passes by, we constantly collect and catalog these personal memories – some brilliant, life altering, vivid; or simple, sweet and monotonous; and other’s dark, inadequate or confusing, but ultimately we weave together each fragment and build a map of ourselves. Each day, we slowly make sense of who we are, what we like, where we want to go, what we want to do, who we want surround ourselves with and so on.

And like travel, art has the invaluable possibility of abstractly generating new experiences by bringing people together and triggering our senses through the applications of color, texture, and subject matter. I’m drawn to art that inspires new dialogues regarding our unique and common life and travel experiences. This is what I seek to create, a platform which allows our rendered memories and stories to become tactile objects: to be viewed, touched, discussed and appreciated.

Weaving has broken down my thought-process and created space in my mind to explore the first memories that rise to the surface through the thoughtful act of choosing natural and unique fibres and mixing different colors into a sporadic composition of layered and varied textures. Each textile work has a unique personal story, or a fragment of a memory attached with it. What triggers our memory may be a simple word, a colour, a texture.

Now, take a-moment to focus on the colors that draw you in immediately. Did you know our brains notice and remember color first, and that they enhance our memory performance? So, ponder why you are drawn to particular colors in the first place. Does it remind you of something, someone, or a time and place in your life? Does it bring up happy, relaxing, or inspired emotions? Would the colours look great with your personal home décor? No matter the reason, colors miraculously invite a world of shared conversations, emotions and memories for us all.” – Danielle