How would you describe the type of work you do? What is your "artist statement”?
How do you start your pieces, what is your artist process?
I have never had ‘artist angst’ or creative block as a result of the way that I work. I am more focused on viewing art, design, and social practice (activism) as possible avenues for what might work when conventional approaches do not. I just do not think that we have the luxury of making for the sake of making anymore. Being a parent also makes me feel that there are urgent matters that need to be addressed in non-categorial ways and immediately at that.
We had the honor of featuring both you and you beautiful work in this photoshoot, please describe the pieces we featured. What was the inspiration behind them and why are they special to you?
I have always loved living with the things that I make and collect. (I find that I often have small revelations as I pass by certain objects when traveling from room-to-room at home.) My family and I like to populate our space with things that have historic and tactile resonance, and it is with this spirit that we have also raised our children. We never child-proofed our home and always encouraged our twins to be curious about the forms that animate and populate our space.
Some of these objects were made by family members, some by my own hands, and other artifacts were collected by my husband and I during our global travels. My dream is to someday house all of these pieces in a beautiful space (in the U.S. and Europe or both) as part of an educational residency program where artists, designers, and researchers can come to develop their own projects as well as living day-to-day with objects of historical beauty, fragility, and creative significance.
How do you see your work progressing in the future?
I am currently focused on building a library of artifacts, textile objects, and design findings that are part of my new Lost in Fiber | agency. This initiative includes documentation and cultural research that I have been doing for our small family foundation in NYC and Europe. The site also includes a narrative database of past and present stories from travels and encounters with inspiring individuals.
I am also very proud of a book on rural communities in the Rhodope Mountains called, Faraway Songs, by the Bulgarian photographer Margi Rousseva, as our foundation co-published the book with Bulgaria’s Ministry of Culture this past year. 2016 will have me updating news for the Haemimont Foundation’s journal more regularly. Toolshedding will also be traveling in the U.S. and Europe, particularly in rural areas and to wide-open natural spaces as I feel that is important to the projects’ environmental and social outreach. I will continue to make new forms, too, but as always, the materials will be informed by dialogues that I cannot anticipate yet. This is the beauty of a multi-layered process fed by concern for listening and observing as a starting point for making.
Handmade shepherd bells with recycled textiles and fiber | part of the Lost in Fiber artifact library (made by Abigail Doan) and photographed on a VOZ woven panel.
Photos by Arturo Stanig in Abigail's home.