Norma Minkowitz’s crochet explorations
For many crocheters the round doily is one of their first efforts in creating a shape; for fiber artist Norma Minkowitz it’s the foundation of her sculptural and flat work.
Like so many artists whose work transitioned to fiber art, Minkowitz spent much of ther time as a child drawing with ink, but also learned to crochet from her mother. In an interview in Artemorbida, she discussed the nature of crochet in her work: “I love the freedom of crochet and the ability to go in different directions creating movement with the line as well as the inclusion of flat areas that become a canvas for the application of other materials and objects. Creative instincts run free with crochet. My art is based around the repetition of one stitch which I feel has a meditative and spiritual power.”
That meditative power has led to contemplating the cycle of death and regeneration, which is seen in much of her work. Minkowitz adds bits of the natural world like twigs and branches that are seen through the sculpture and almost resemble skeletal and circulatory systems. She writes in her artist statment, “The outer netting obscures the shape within creating a sense of ambiguity in the shadows of the work. On the surface, paint and stitched lines appear and disappear depending on the light and viewing position. Intricate and random patterns are created by the nature of the open mesh structures. All of these elements combine to convey a sense of energy as the viewer moves around my sculpture. Conceptually, the interlaced fibers can lend a wonderful duality—simultaneously creating a delicate quality, but also implying the strength of steel mesh—symbolic of the human condition.”
Inspiration comes in many shapes from the female form to mythological creatures to the mystique of birds that Minkowitz considers powerful and fragile. She incorporates into her work objects such as flowers, twigs, bones and even bits of food. She explains in Artemorbida the role they play in her art, “These objects speak to me through their shapes and suggestive qualities and transition of life to death. I find the subjects of my work evolve as I work with chosen materials and I start feeling the path and inspiration develop. I do not preplan my art. If I knew what is would look like before I started, I would not be excited to create my art.”
For more information and to view Norma's portfolio, visit www.normaminkowitz.com.