I work in the medium of weaving, a process that was historically highly valued as a skill and product. This process has lost almost all inherent value because of global textile production. Each weaving is built line by line. The pass of the weft in weaving is a literal illustration of time. Each weaving becomes an expression of time in compression. I consider contemporary industrialization and global outsourcing of material processes impacting the environment, as well as the influence of textile and chemical dye polluting and the disposable nature of contemporary architecture and home furnishing industries. I replicate lavish architecture commissioned by wealthy patrons to convey prestige and power long forgotten among the contemporary social classes in an urban environment. Sourcing the carefully cultivated beauty of displays through pattern and embellishment. We continue to use in contemporary culture the symbolism and language of historical decorative architecture but it seems the translation is not as clear.
The weavings are images of architectural decorative symbols whose meaning are largely lost through time. The architecture as it stands in situ are silent witnesses existing among the daily passing of lives lived over decades and in some instance’s centuries. The architecture is often personal property presented publicly asserting wealth and power over those who choose to notice. Crafts people have historical lineage to wealthy patrons. The patron’s wealth allows for these commissioned decorations to exist. I return to the process of craft in weaving to reinterpret this imagery.
Pazia Mannella is an Assistant Professor of Fibers and the Fibers Program Head at the School of Visual Studies, University of Missouri. She recently exhibited work in the solo exhibition Earthly Delights, at the Sidney Larson Gallery, Columbia College, Columbia, MO, the juried exhibition Amarillo Biennial 600: Textile + Fiber, at the Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo, TX, the invitational exhibition Teach/Taught: Fiber Art Educators, at Meramec Community College, St. Louis, MO and the juried exhibition Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI and The Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, MI. Mannella’s work has been featured in many national exhibitions as well as at Urban Outfitters Headquarters and Snyderman-Works Galleries. Her work has been featured several publications including in the Canadian Weekly Fibre Artist Interview: World of Threads Festival, Dutch Textiel Plus magazine, US Airways Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, and Philadelphia: Home.