Since childhood, I have found comfort in paper. Its presence was ubiquitous: always able to be stolen off a table or out of a printer at offices, homes, and churches. Tearing paper is a naturally soothing activity for anxious hands. Its smooth, blank face is always ready to accept a drawing.
This love for tactile materials has persisted throughout my life, and at the moment, it manifests in a fascination with fibers. I approach the medium with the perspective and background of a painter: in the exploration of formal elements of color, line, and shape, I think of the objects I create as assembled paintings. I’m drawn to the inherent movement and tension found within arrangements of woven threads. Handmade paper pulp and clothing fragments add dissonant textures to my pieces and pose new questions about repurposing and transforming found materials. I am interested in the stories evoked through interplay of different materials and compositions. The experience of looking at art feels analogous to that of reading a book: there may not be a linear narrative, or a concrete solution to reach, but as we give over our own memories and perceptions to art, we may find in return a moment of captivation.
See more of Tabitha Arnold’s work on her website.