Feb 5 2021 - Feb 5 2021

The Texture of Grief

The history of textiles is inextricable from the story of humanity, a storied and  ultimately functional craft that, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and  feminist fiber art movements of the mid-20th century, has become emblematic of  not just the innovative qualities of the human animal, but of textile’s innate  communicative quality. That is to say, the fabric of each individual’s life is woven,  sewn, embroidered, with cultural markers, ideas, and stories, bleeding into the  realms of art, national identity, and clothing. Textile work encompasses multitudes of  patterns, colors, techniques, and identities across the globe, a living, breathing  record of centuries of change. The history of textiles, to a large degree, is also  inextricable from the feminine realm, transforming over the years into a “domestic”  craft through which women could find their place in whichever society they found  themselves in. Enter Cuban, Miami-based fiber artist Aurora Molina.  
Born in Havana, Molina emigrated to the United States at 16. The beginning of her  relationship with fiber art dates to her childhood, but it wasn’t until she took an  experimental fiber painting class in Miami that she began engaging seriously with  textile as an art form. Now, Molina, a working artist with an extensive exhibiting  history, teacher, and founder of Fiber Arts Miami Association (FAMA), continues to not  simply adapt to, but fiercely engage with changing times all the while keeping her  foot on the pedal of a sewing machine.  
Molina’s body of work is rich—with intention, color, and experience. Her pieces exact  a sociopolitical criticism that is ingrained in the very threads she uses, be they  physical or intellectual. She has confronted the commodification of beauty and  objectification of youth, intertwining aging with gradual invisibility in the internet age ;  she’s sewn together studies of “unfettered individualism” in the contexts of  immigration, family, politics; she’s created odes to resilience, redirected culpability,  and reminded audiences that fiber art isn’t simply a place for women to occupy  themselves. Fiber art, in fact, can communicate jarring criticism and rebellion in the  same manner it relates an individual’s identity. Her playful color palette and  observant soft sculptures are just as traditional as they are ruthless, defying norms at  every corner of life via method and concept.  
“I think it is extremely important that artists become the commentators of our time… I  make political satire with the help of thread. I think it is crucial today when fiber art is  playing a new role in art history. Thread is not only being used as embellishment but  as a statement; a political consequence of women not longer sitting in circles,  embroidering flowers.”  
Given the turbulent refreshing deconstruction of “tradition” in the last year, Molina has adapted in her own, uncannily timely way, swapping sewing machines and  embroidery for hand weaving, and in turn putting her vulnerability and humanity on display and asking the same of the audience. Her February exhibition at The CAMP  Gallery, The Texture of Grief, sees the artist moving away from her characteristic  figurative style and embracing the abstraction of emotion and time. Collectively, the  works are grounded in tension, be it visual or spiritual, embodied by the act of  weaving.  
With each movement, these pieces become sites for transformation. Each fibre  moves in tandem with Molina’s essence, sprouting from inborn tension and anxiety  about the past, memory, and isolation, evolving from negativity to a place of resolve;  the yarn acts as a stand-in for time, the act of weaving as a confronting of it. The  result is a series that bares witness to an artist’s fears, intrusive thoughts, and  vulnerabilities, and sees her triumph. As Molina would put it: “‘Don’t think’, ‘distract  yourself’, ‘think of something else’—these are feelings and emotions that allow us to  converge from a superficial dimension to a deeper emotional process, allowed by  the constant rhythm of weaving two distinct sets of yarns (positive thought and  negative thought) interlaced. The weft made of positive and negative thoughts  [create] a woven surface where the tension of the weaving becomes its own  language, and you have to learn how to decipher in relationship to your own  experience.” 
Date
  • Feb 5 2021 - Feb 5 2021