A Fiber Artist you say? Yes, a fiber artist… and a bloody good one at that! We were lucky to have the chance to interview Miami, Florida based artist Star Trauth, who’s work have been featured in Florence Art Week, Miami Art Week & Tokyo International Art Fair, just to name a few…
So… For those who don’t know, can you explain what exactly is fiber art?
The, “What is fiber art?” question is loaded. Some insist it’s craft, some art. In my mind there is a very clear delineation (Socks vs Tapestry) but there is always someone to stand by to reignite the argument. I’d rather create and advance the field than argue about it.
Once considered utilitarian, craft, and womanly, it began to evolve in the late 50s sometimes using feminist themes. Thats when the vanguard began to advance into the fine art arena. Lenore Tawney began to weave revolutionary tapestry in her later years, Judy Chicago created The Dinner Party, one of the first pieces of “high art” that incorporated needlework within women’s history in one installation piece, Sheila Hicks began bringing new forms of massive fiber installation art influenced by The Bauhaus, just to name a few.
Once considered Womanly art, now its thought of as Feminist Art, even Outsider art. Any textile or fiber art, even outside of the fiber medium can be considered fiber art, if the techniques used are traditionally fiber/Textile techniques.
Fiber artists often do incorporate other media to their pieces and when they do while technically mixed media, they will delineate Fiber/Mixed Media often because of pride in their medium.
Did you study at university?
Yes. I attended university for Fine Art, Interior Architecture, and Marketing. I did practice as an interior designer until the consumeristic side of it drained me of the joy of the creative side. In my town, it was commonplace for housewives to routinely redo a space for the personal company of their designer or out of sheer boredom. I would take their needs, comfort, and general aesthetic very seriously. I would give them what they needed and desired. They would often shed tears of joy. After an alarm KY short time, out of bitterness or loneliness they’d ask me to tear it up and do it again. Heaping gobs of money at me to destroy and rebuild. I was a hired killer, my own creation assassin.
I had to move on to a different outlet for my creative flow, my fiber sculpture was in its embryonic stage, I literally grabbed hold with all I had. I have always created in some form and media. If I didn’t I might possibly go mad.
Much of my current body of work has stemmed from personal research and trial and error. The fact that I had to feel my way through it, cursing and bleeding at times, made it all the more satisfying.
Ultimately, whichever way one goes, we should we be free to carve out our own path. I don’t look up to or down upon people with more or less education, as long as there is learning and adventuring. I think the artist should be free to work it out in their own way without judgement.
What I find really special, what I really admire, is those to who do their own thing everywhere. That special breed of artist that has many different creative itches and scratches them all. Those are my heroes.
What is your creative process?
My art inspiration is tangled with memory, experience, and inspiration. I can create many pieces in my mind simultaneously, my imagination is constantly creating. I once dreamt an entire exhibition full of pieces that had not been created. My hands have a hard time keeping up. Once ideas form, I sketch and take notes so that I don’t lose it all. It’s often muddled and needs to be organized. I realized music helps to bring one thought at a time. In a piece of music I can see color, texture, and technique. It flows in on its own. However most of “my music,” new wave to post punk, has its own memory imprint. I started listening around and found Korean Pop. It’s creativity, depth, and exuberance started to push my art and I let it. Different sounds bring different colors and textures. It’s up to me to figure out how to materialize it. I will do anything in my power to make the vision happen, sometimes dedicating months to a single series. I consider the piece completed when the fiber art is fully realized and the story of what inspired it is completed. It’s what I refer to as The Tapestry and The Lore.
How would you describe your work’s style to someone who has never seen it before?
It’s been described as tribal, probably because I tend to incorporate ancient practices and vintage fiber alongside invented techniques. It’s been called phallic and yonic as I am very into creating cylindrical tapestry and I tend to create endless textural folds in my pieces. My techniques have been called exquisite and who doesn’t want that?
It’s actually very humbling for me to hear these things as all I set out to do was create my imagination. It’s art that doesn’t follow a singular style, its very textural, and drenched in color. Its art that you want to touch.
What are your goals for the rest of 2018?
When I switched gears five years ago I was excited to participate and be invited in any show. I’m still humbled and honored every single time, however I want to create above all else. I have a growing book of sketches that I’m dying to realize.
I saw Black Panther this year (like everyone else) and there is the scene in M’Baku’s throne room. I would love to do an installation based on that.
Advice from successful artist Star Trauth coming very soon!
Check out more from Star Trath: