Caitlin McCormack is a Philadelphia-based fiber artist who works primarily with crocheted cotton thread that is dredged in a mixture of glues, stiffened, and positioned in the form of animal and humanoid skeletons, which are showcased in velvet-lined shadow boxes and under glass display domes. She earned a BFA in Illustration from The University of the Arts in 2010, and originally pursued illustration as a career, but has found her footing, and a sense of fulfillment, in the creation of these sculptures, which convey her thoughts regarding memory, and how the authenticity of a recollection becomes distorted over time.
Caitlin's body of work, which originates as sketches drawn from memory after observing osteological specimens, transforms throughout the process of its construction and becomes a hybrid of recognizable, skeletal forms, and the artist's own visual biases. She has taken part in gallery and museum exhibitions across the US, as well as in Japan, the UK, Germany, Australia, and The Netherlands, and receives representation from Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia.
The act of stiffening intricately crocheted cotton string with glue produces material that is structurally similar to delicate bone tissue. The string utilized in this process can be viewed as the basic cellular unit of fabrication, and by utilizing media and practices inherited from my deceased relatives, I aim to generate emblems of my diminishing bloodline, embodied by each organism's skeletal remains.
With a majority of my work, I employ pseudoscientific principles and antiquated methods to generate material, in an attempt to impart a visual indication that something has transpired in a fabricated reality. I aim to construct the likenesses of creatures suspended in a state of perpetual dormancy, by way of crocheting - a practice that is based upon active proliferation. Little by little, this process permits me to construct a very personal taxonomy of creatures symbolizing my memories and experiences.
The material out of which my work is composed acts as an alchemical conduit between the garment and the clothesline; it acknowledges the latter as a symbol of the ancestry and familial bonds which have greatly informed my work. I wish to give the impression that a garment has disintegrated and reformed itself, warped by the passing of time, in the image of a tenacious animal's remains, a reflection on both the persistence of memory and the significance of cloth and thread in the realm of human experience.