Erin E. Castellan: Weaving Small Nets to Capture Life

Tracey Morgan Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by textile-based artist Erin E. Castellan. Amidst the seemingly endless barrage of digital imagery ever-present in our contemporary world, Castellan makes tactile artworks which necessitate slow-looking, careful examination, quiet contemplation, and stillness. Utilizing both fabric she has woven and stretched canvases, Castellan adds hand-embellishments of stitching, beadwork, and acrylic paint, reveling in the joys of materiality, engaging and engulfing our senses.

With a palette of predominantly earth-tones, in combination with surfaces reminiscent of landscapes, it is tempting to view each piece as its own unique terrestrial space, rooted in the familiarity of earth while transcending to otherworldly realms. The places represented here are fantastical but familiar, like the memory of somewhere felt but not known.

Many of Castellan’s woven works nod both metaphorically and literally to memory as she incorporates materials from years past – a skein of onion skin dyed yarn spun by her mother, or reimagined fabrics she herself wove decades before. She asserts through this iterative process the connection of past and present – the continual folding back of time and the cyclical nature of lived experiences.

Castellan notes, “Everything in the present connects with everything in the past. Everything in the past affects everything in the present. It is impossible to pick apart the pieces of life, to unravel the strands of these nets.”

Erin E. Castellan received her MFA from Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) and her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI). Her embroidered and beaded paintings have been exhibited widely including Kyoto Int’l Community House (Kyoto, Japan), The Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), and Ess Ef Eff (Brooklyn, NY). Her work was published in New American Paintings (2021, 2020, 2015) and she was a 2016 Society for Contemporary Craft LEAP Award Finalist (Pittsburgh, PA). Castellan completed a 2004 Post-Graduate Apprenticeship at the Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia, PA), and was a 2012-2013 Artist-in-Residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Gatlinburg, TN). She currently lives in Spruce Pine, NC and is the Gallery Coordinator at Penland School of Craft.

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