My practice examines the historical and cultural ideas that shape western understandings of the natural world. To create my textile-based installations, I employ a variety of techniques and materials: works may be embroidered, knit, hand-dyed, felted, or sewn from recycled materials. The results range from museum boxes with pinned insect specimens to an installation of hundreds of rats made from old fur coats.
I am interested in both the orderliness of nature, as presented in museums and zoology textbooks, and the unruliness of nature, as seen in the presence of pests or vermin. Several recent projects explore our response to these unwanted creatures: how humans seek to control activity that threatens or displeases.
Reading is the origin of much of my inspiration. My visual ideas may come from a newspaper article, a scientific text, or a novel. Further research, material exploration and planning are followed by meticulous execution of the work itself.
recycled fur, felted wool, wood and found materials
Photo Tom Cheney