Material Matters features the works of Victoria J. Hanna, from Fergus Falls and Chica Notch, from Hutchinson & Higashiagatsuma. Chica and Victoria explore themes of nature, process, and materials. Each artist deeply roots herself in the traditions of textiles/crafts/weaving, but within these traditions they yield contemporary and compelling new ways of storytelling.
Material Matters is on view July 6 – August 13, 2021
Describe your work in 15 words or less
Who/What influences your work?
Chica: This work is influenced and inspired by artisans, craftspeople and farmers from a time when people worked with and were a part of nature’s cycles. All work was done by hand from planting to harvesting to processing. The sounds of hand work are rhythmic and relaxing. The work is strongly influenced by the Japanese concept of ‘motainai’ and the awareness of interdependence and impermanence. With reverence, every part of the hemp plant is utilized.
Tell us more about how you started working with textiles; your artist origin story.
Chica: For years I had been working with textiles (crocheting, sewing, weaving, etc.) and various fibers (synthetic and protein/animal, some cotton) while simultaneously searching for some way to connect to my Japanese culture. Through travels in Thailand I was attracted by beautiful hand-woven hemp cloth by Hmong tribes and wondered if Japan also had a hemp history. Upon return to Japan I began to study traditional methods of hemp thread making and, in the process, began this journey which has revealed a connection to a deep, rich hemp culture and fostered relationships with people (some over 90 years old) willing to share their knowledge.
Victoria: I took a weaving class to fill a general studies requirement and changed my major. I was working in an electronics manufacturing company at the time, and below spec copper wire was being discarded, so I started using it in my weavings for the color, light reflectivity and flexibility.
What do you enjoy when you are not creating?
Chica: Spending time with our cats, travel, visiting cafe’s and daydreaming.
Victoria: Reading and baking.
What is your favorite book, beverage, and flower
Victoria: Book – The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World by Virginia Postrel, Hot Chai Tea, Pansy.
Chica: Nihon no Shizen fu (Japan Natural fabrics magazine), sparkling water, Sakura blossoms in spring.
This exhibit is sponsored by: JRRYoga
The Visual Arts Exhibition series is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.