Weaving together the realms of art, craft, and design, my work explores thread as a line of care, connection, and wonder. From Arachne to Sleeping Beauty, myths and fairytales ‘spin’ stories where threads transport and entrap, protect and transform, cure and curse. Like little loom spells on paper, I make thread works that seduce the viewer into a romance of beauty and quiet intimacy. My practice involves sewing, drawing, weaving, dyeing, and designing social events. With a background in printmaking and writing, I explore the affinities between text, textile, and texture. I let the line walk me, listening, touching, and seeking what Eve Sedgwick writes in her essay, “Making Things, Practicing Emptiness,” the “middle ranges of agency." The thread is alive, a force of her own. (According to the Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge, the root word for ‘weaving’ and ‘being’ are the same: nnt.)
Though powerful in myth, fiber has been derided as feminine and associated with domestic labor for centuries. I expand upon the feminist activities in the 1960’s and 70’s that repositioned fiber into the art sphere, and exposed the patriarchal bias underlining its exclusion. I’m concerned with intimate handwork, lightness, smallness, slowness, and softness, and how we value these qualities. Geometric abstractions are used to examine the shapes that shape us: language, architecture, webs, grids, clothing, celestial orbs, and the warp and weft, the basic vocabulary of textiles from which our contemporary computer (phones) are based.
I pay homage to these artists who open the folds of experience to more beauty, play, and truth: Sheila Hicks, Annie Albers, Louise Bourgeois, Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica (the Parangolés), Yoko Ono, Gego, Johanna Calle, Ray Eames, Richard Tuttle, Sylvia Plath, Dr. Suess, Suzanne Herrera Li Puma, and Sophie Grant.
Nora Grant is an artist living in Oakland, CA. In 2011, she received her B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley with an independent study in Printmaking. Nora has worked in various art settings, including curating exhibitions and managing public programs for the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, directing public programs for Intersection for the Arts, tutoring inmates at San Quentin State Prison, and assisting contemporary artists at New York fine art paper mill Pace Prints. She currently manages exhibitions at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Apart from making art and helping others make art, she feels extra alive when swimming in natural waters, baking pies, and being with cats and loved ones.