Noticing invisible structures
Awagami Factory Residency
AWAGAMI FACTORY, YOSHINOGAWA, JAPAN (2.5 MONTHS)
Each residency reveals something special to me. At Awagami Factory, my obsession was giant spiders and webs that occupied every empty space. Gaps between houses, branches, and electrical lines contained these complex, invisible structures. Never have I seen webs so intricate, delicate, expansive, and captivating.
Spiderwebs are artwork unto themselves. Designed with intention and thread so strong it can withstand heavy winds and downpour. Sometimes several smaller spiders built tiny webs between gaps of greater webs. It looked like a system of exploding fireworks made from clear string.
On my walks to and from the studio, I counted webs and watched them grow and shrink each day. Occasionally, a single web contained an entire swarm of gnats, like nodes of a vast network symbolic of our World Wide Web. Webs were like landmarks to neighborhoods and I was surprised to see how local people were never afraid of them.
I was inspired to weave webs and embed them in kozo pulp, forming translucent paper. Webs woven from cotton string and made to-scale of real webs. Each web has radial complexity while also showing natural imperfections. This was the first time an artist used this process at the factory. With some trail and error, we determined how to make giant Japanese washi webs.