The Bycatch series continues


I have added three new nets to the Bycatch series. The first two were for a group show called Personal Patterns at the Montgomery College King Street Gallery (October 22 – Nov 25, 2015). That show included two new nets. “Blue Bycatch” is about 9 feet tall and made using traditional netting knots with strips of recycled saris from India and Nepal, anchored with used plastic water bottles that had been refilled with tap water (about 9 feet tall):


The second, “Spiral Bycatch,” is made from strips of recycled white silk saris, cotton fishing net cord, and nylon fishing line. This net is about 10 feet tall, and I used a traditional netting knot to create it, but in order to create the spiral pattern, I had to work six separate balls of fiber simultaneously, with knots hanging progressively about one inch lower for each loop in each segment. It was a mind-bending exercise until I got used to it, and I am very pleased that the final effect was successful! Retracing one’s steps is very hard and time-consuming, so I just had to trust that I hadn’t made any major mistakes as I worked on the long form:

The third one is the biggest yet. About 25 feet long, it was made from recycled fabric strips and fishing line, forming a spiral pattern, like “Spiral Bycatch.” It was part of the Man/Made show at the Takoma Park Community Center from November through December 2016, suspended in the central atrium area over the entrance to the police station on the first floor. What had been the open base for the previous nets was elevated to open like an entry into the center of the spiral, the entry point for which was viewable from the second-floor entrance to the community center. It still had a traditional net form, but read more ambiguously as both the net and something the could have been caught at sea – perhaps a squid or jellyfish.

This show was installed during the week of the 2016 Presidential election, and provided a meditative, colorful, and technically complicated distraction from the seeming chaos unfolding in the country. I hope the presence of such a large contemplative object helped provide a way for people to explore issues larger and more abstract than the day-to-day world.






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