Erik Speer #24, USA, 2021
One of the earliest forms of human craft, textile is a universal language, both essential and accessory. For the past eight years nomadic artist Erik Speer has been creating experimental fiber art collages that employ an array of techniques – macrame, crotchet, knitting, felting, weaving, etc. Thoughtfully detailed and expressive, his sculptural “tapestries” are naturally evocative and deeply rooted in his personal narrative.
Much of Speer’s inspiration for his work comes from the ocean, with his art as the medium to share his experiences in the water, having spent time traveling the globe as a scuba instructor. “I guess that’s kind of how I put together my pieces is trying to…recreate that aspect of it and taking… fibres and small materials and…building it onto each other to make…this larger scale piece that feels like it’s complete and it’s like its own organism and its living on its own.” When you look at his work, you see the influence of his diving days: massive wall hangings that resemble coral reefs, knitted and crocheted from wool, interspersed with shapes reminiscent of barnacles and sea urchins made from various fibres and textiles. “Most all of my materials are of natural origin, with wools, silks and linen being my favorites. I strive to use recycled fibers and yarns along with dead/overstock/waste material. My main methods of construction include knotting, knitting, crocheting, braiding, and weaving, but I constantly try to push the boundary of what is possible with my media.”
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