Sonya Yong James statement

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We come into the world wrapped in cloth, it covers and protects us when we dream and sleep, and it shrouds us in death. This ubiquitous material is seldom appreciated but it is central to the human experience. I am intrigued by the idea of a single thread becoming warp and weft and forming something whole. Cloth holds the memory of the body and can take the form of the human it held. It is part of our lives everyday. We wear it next to our skin. Cloth is always touching us.

I use textiles and fiber to create sculptures as a way to explore the personal, especially that which is often hidden. The work is constructed of themes that are formed around the idea of the broken, the abandoned, and the forgotten.

I work with thread and cloth as I love the references that they hold such as mending, repairing and connecting. The woven forms reflect the results applied to string like that of music, these constructions have what I believe is a mathematical beauty, an internal structure based on repetition and variation. My frequent use of wool felt is primordial. Felt feels like something that exists in nature. Felt has the gravitas of a raw material, such as wood and stone. Felt is disorderly and full of trapped energy.

I work most frequently with animal hair, fabric and thread. They are the instruments of both domestic culture and universal production. I seek to join together the points where these systems overlap and where sources of sexuality, memory, and death construct meaningful relationships and dialogue.