Congratulations on your most recent exhibition Reveries at Branch Gallery in Inglewood, CA! Can you tell us a bit about the variety of work included in the show? Your intricate crochet pieces often include installation work, which can be found at Reveries. Can you tell us about these pieces as well as other site-specific installations you’ve done? What happens to the material after an installation is finished?
A: Thank you! It’s been half a year in the making and it feels so good to finally see our work installed in the gallery. Sometimes we don’t get to see the scope of our work until it’s all hung in the space, and it’s really monumental to see how much we’re able to create in such a short time span.
L: Thank you! Like Alyssa said, it’s been such a rewarding experience to see our mental images and ideas manifested on the walls of Branch Gallery. With this body of work, Alyssa and I wanted to explore the world of landscapes and our bodily relationships with such sensory environments. Whether it’s a mental landscape, a dreamscape, a natural environment, or a constructed space, each environment that we experience and interact with as humans elicits a mixture of feelings unique to each individual. As defined by Merriam-Webster, a reverie is a daydream or a state of being lost in one’s thoughts. Along with externally occurring landscapes, we wanted to explore internal dreamscapes, spaces where one can get lost and explore the inner workings of their mind and consciousness. Our seven wall tapestries and installation pieces included in this show explore the synthesis of, and tension between, manmade and natural environments, and how human emotions relate to and form them.
A: With these installations, as well as other ones we’ve done in the past, we tried to reuse and recycle where we could. We stuffed a lot of the pieces with plastic bags, made armatures out of reused chicken wire and cardboard boxes, and sourced some of the yarn from local yarn stores that were willing to donate to our exhibitions, as well as fiber and acetate from Trash for Teaching (T4T) in Gardena, CA.
Personally, for me, this was a cathartic endeavor, to heal from the past 8 months in politics and to create something beautiful in the ugliness of it all. Although it’s hard for us little people to do anything about what’s happening in Washington, we have taken a gentle stance of resistance by donating a portion of art sales to the Sierra Club - Angeles Chapter, which serves Los Angeles and Orange Counties here in California.
L: Along with smaller scale yarn bombs that we attach to publicly available “canvases,” like chain-link fences, we have done large-scale site-specific installations as well. One of our most recent installations was There Is A River Here, an environmental installation curated by Carolyn Schutten and the Riverside Art Museum, in which we covered about ten boulders with handmade needlework pieces sourced from the local community through workshops and donations. After an installation is finished, we try our best to reuse the materials in other pieces and installations. The waterfall in Chromatic Cascade, for example, is made from yarn used in our There Is A River Here project. Other pieces from that project were restitched into blankets and scarves and donated to a local Riverside charity. We’ve also unwound other pieces to reuse the yarn, or cut up elements to use as stuffing for our sculptures. Other than that, we have most of our pieces and installation elements in storage for now! We’re always looking for other galleries or nontraditional spaces to show our past installations.
A: Succulent and Florid Flora were sort of vanity pieces. We both simply wanted to create large scale flower and succulent beds because we both have never seen anything like that in the crochet or fiber world before. I am a dog walker on the side, so for me personally, I walk through these wealthy neighborhoods where people have the privilege to hire landscapers to come and create these beautiful succulent and cacti compositions. I think I wanted to capture the beauty that these blue-collar workers create juxtaposed with the dichotomy of the trends that the rich are able to afford, and how both parties are able to realize this garden vision together.
A: In referring to Chromatic Cascade, I like to think about the waterfall creating its own music as it splashes into the pool below. We had musician Eric Flynn create a soundscape for this exhibition, so it adds another immersive element by bringing in the auditory aspect.
A: Coral Confection obviously talks about coral bleaching, and we again utilized recycled materials to create this installation. We also used traditional clothing materials like buttons and pins to decorate the piece that relate back to the last definition in the description above.
A: Earth Tome references back to being able to explore sort of ickier themes without really having to get your hands dirty.
A: We outlined Liz’s body to create the piece Verdant Quietus, and we’ve nicknamed her Ms. Skully Moss. We try to infuse a lot of humor into our work, even when we are talking about very serious themes. Laughter is a coping mechanism after all!