Kimberly English

Kimberly English

About The Artist

Kimberly English • Canton, NC
Fiber and Textiles - Homegoods • CUSTOM COMMISSIONS

My practice is textile-based, utilizing both hand-woven cloth and manufactured fabric. Representational abstractions emerge in explorations of image making and form building through cloth. Pattern, silhouette, and sculptural elements create tension and precarity throughout the body of fabric. Utilization of both weaving and unweaving processes expose warp and weft to demonstrate the singularity of thread within the subject matter. The resulting referential systems of cloth point to notions of labor, indoctrination, and ritual - all methods of survival. These existential yearnings through making intend to use cloth as a metaphor for human production at large, and consider what entropy reciprocates our progress.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

My work is conceptually driven - sometimes personal, sometimes research-based, sometimes both. Usually there is this magic moment that happens when a new body of work emerges - sometimes from reading, but sometimes from remembering a song or hearing a poem or watching a movie. That moment feels like dots I've pinpointed that seem tangentially related all of a sudden start to synthesize, like I see the connecting thread. It's then that I begin drawing and digging into literature or content that I can reference or antagonize through my work. I gather imagery. I sketch. I write. I meditate. Then the real work starts: actually making the pieces I'm thinking about. Usually this hinges on working primarily with woven cloth. Sometimes that means dyeing, drafting, and weaving; sometimes it's more fitting to cut and unweave yardage of manufactured fabric to achieve the pattern, imagery, or form I'm seeking.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

The beautiful thing about working with cloth is the intention and the labor that goes into it. There is a lot of time to think about not only the piece you�re making, but how that piece is in conversation with the larger body of work. I think that�s one of the things that keeps pulling me back to it - it really makes me slow down and grounds me in a way that I haven�t found through any other media. Conceptually, cloth is so rewarding for me to work with because folks don�t suspect that it could be something powerful. It�s soft and warm, but it�s also primal and necessary. I love that it�s human-like, in that it sags with time and touches you back when you interact with it. It can symbolize security, the body, and time; it can also symbolize labor, violence, and it can be a symbol of our society at large. I think that because of this, fabric is the ultimate trojan horse in talking about big abstract ideas that get to the heart of the human condition.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

Something unique about my practice is that I utilize both handwoven textiles and manufactured fabric in my work. I'm interested in the evolving nuance between hand and machine, and the connection between both types of cloth as evidence of our simultaneous progress and destruction.