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Imaginal Dialogues: Mapping People in String

There is something fabulous about working with long strands of fibre to create a painting. Though hands guide the general direction of the string, in the last moment before it settles on to the surface it twists and curls with its own agenda. In the past I have described this process as a dance where hand and string take turns manipulating one another. To me, not only is working with string more intimate than working with many other materials, it also feels more reciprocal.

Just as tangles and messiness bring form and visual interest to these portraits, it is often the ability to be vulnerable and admit to the messiness of life that brings meaning and strength into human relationships. As fundamentally social beings, our relationships are integral to our identity. Much like the subjects themselves, and the artist who conveys them, these portraits are created through a relational process.

Making Dallas: A String Portrait Story from Maren Elliott on Vimeo.


To read blog posts that relate to this project, you can check out project category here.