Lisa Klakulak’s solo exhibition at form & concept titled “Since Taos: Contraction of Mass, Concision of Thought” features 13 sculptures made with felt and other materials. These works have been created since Klakulak left New Mexico in 2001 to further her study of textiles.
“A lot of the pieces were made in between workshops and shows,” explains Klakulak. “The ideas for my work are bound up with personal experiences and inspired by systems and geology in the outside world. I’m sparked by materials, objects and processes.”
Felt, a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together, has become an important part of Klakulak’s mixed media work. Her piece “Need to Nurture,” for example, has felt, merino wool fiber, glass, branches and repurposed baby bottle nipples in it.
“I thought about nests when I started making “Need to Nurture,” she recalls. “An artist in a studio next to mine was making birds and helped me with my bird idea. Then, when I was in a store one day, I saw Gerber baby bottles on a shelf. I decided to use them in the piece. This is a way that some of my sculptures evolve.”
A textile enthusiast since childhood, Klakulak was first exposed to the art of working with felt when she studied at Penland School of Craft in North Carolina after leaving Taos. She continued working with felt during her three-year-long, artist-in-residency position at The Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee.
After the residency ended in 2005, Klakulak moved back to North Carolina. She set up her studio in Asheville and made body adornment, accessories and sculptures. For 13 years she traveled to area schools and around the world to conduct workshops in the art of working with felt.
Deciding that she needed to shake things up in her life, she enrolled in Nova Scotia College of Art & Design last fall to pursue a master’s degree in sculpture.
“I had a nice cycle of making new work, traveling and teaching,” she says. “But I realized that my work was stuck in production-oriented ideas. The structure of a college is good for me right now. It provides networks, connections and new artistic energy.”