Exploring identity with upcycled fabric
Cloth carries within it the threads of its history and the sensitive chaos of its becoming.
Wings carry within them the structures to fly and the possibility of their becoming.
Both carry the knowledge of true nature… the cycles of wonder and evocateurs of change.
I create textiles for body and soul; free-spirited sculpted art to wear to wake your body and perceptions. Most are richly colored accessories (wraps, eco-scarves, skinnies, wings, feathers, talismans, and tendrils), both organic in shape and elegant… a kind of sensitive chaos juiced with symbolism and surprise. They are about transformation and story in two ways:
1) literally…each piece has multiple wearing options such as design elements, form, and button or loop closures, so each time it is put on, it changes.
2) symbolically… each piece explores questions of identity: Is there such a thing as a garment that connects to our essence… that can draw out our essence so we feel more essentially ourselves? How do the invisible stories in cloth hold an emotional patina and memory, to create connections that serve our experiences in present time?
As our second skin and our body shelter, how does clothing nourish and sustain?
Using recycled materials my ‘art for the body’ stretches familiar and ancient motions of working with yarn and cloth in unexpected new directions. Gently worn garments are cleaned of their unknown past and cut apart. The qualities inherent in each fabric carry an excitement that unleashes in the cut pieces, that are improvised – like music – composed , sculpted, stitched into a new form. There is an alchemy in this re-cycle into a new future for the cloth. The color and unknown stories set both a structure and a freedom for the new, but re-claimed, sculptural textile to transform with the wearer.
I am a maker inspired by the movement of needles thru yarn and cloth. I stitch to question our stories, knit to invoke courage, weave to honor our interconnectedness. I have a background in Music Therapy, human potential, horticulture, design. I have lived off the grid. These disciplines cross-pollinate and give substance to my ever changing sustainability based art business and the work that is constantly emerging.
I live in a renovated caboose in the woodlands of NW Wisconsin and work in my studio in Duluth, MN. For 28 years I’ve been traveling to juried art festivals around the country to show and sell my zero waste artwear. This nomadic process of bringing art to the everyday feeds my need to work with the arts as advocacy for the imagination, our greatest resource that I believe is at the root
of dissolving our current problems living in this time of extremes.
About Erika Mock
Erika Mock is a Swiss-born award winning textile artist, creativity facilitator, and arts activist who has been exhibiting and selling her work at juried shows around the country for the past 28 years. She is dedicated to using recycled materials to make zero waste artwear… via textiles and art to explore sustainable practices and interconnected vision to create personal and social change.
In 2007, Erika conducted textile research in Guatemala into the meaning of ‘Cloth is life’. Since 2004, she has created fiber biennials in Superior. That work grew into arts based community revitalization when in 2010 she co-founded Phantom Galleries Superior, an initiative that created temporary art environments in vacant storefronts/buildings. She co-founded SPACES ( Superior Public Art Creating Community Environments) and is a 2013 graduate of Intermedia Art’s Creative Community Leadership Institute (TwinPorts).
Her studio is located in Duluth, MN and she lives in a renovated caboose in the woodlands of Northwest Wisconsin.