Brooks Harris Stevens is an artist and Professor at EMU where she is a part of the 3-D Studio area in Fibers. Brooks is continually inspired through the creation of fiber-based work that is deeply rooted in textile traditions. Working with interdisciplinary approaches, she seeks to expand concepts while working with fiber mediums. Her research focuses on finding value in our collective human experiences that are often discarded and overused through the mending of cloth, land and the built environment. Recently, she has had work included in the International Fiber Art 2019 exhibition at the Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea, as well as Interstitial Interruptions at the Detroit Center for Design & Technology. In January 2020, Brooks will exhibit her work at the University Art Gallery at Central Michigan University, which is a part of Guns: Loaded Conversations, that has been displayed at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles and the New England Textile Museum and an upcoming exhibition in Birmingham, England.

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Artist Statement

Working as an inter-disciplinary artist I escape in the creation of work that is deeply rooted in the history of textiles. I seek to express my personal experiences and relationship with cloth using various materials and techniques that are associated within my human experience. These cultivated experiences help to inform every choice of material, each stitch, cut and fold when making work. Just as I am drawn to the touch of materials and their inherent qualities, I equally rely on personal experiences that ultimately unify concept with technique.

Over the past several years my work has shifted to focus on finding value in the often discarded, misused, and overlooked facets of our lives. This focus is expressed through the act of mending on used cloth, landscape and the built environment. The common act of mending is one that has been practiced worldwide since the making of utilitarian objects ultimately connecting us all to the use, understanding and appreciation of how these objects and materials serve significant roles in our lives. Through industrialization and mechanization our world has become disconnected from the importance of materials and making that hold traditions, rituals and communities together. The understanding and love of cloth is one that continually drives my curiosity and artistic interpretation of our world. I find value in not always taking the traditional route regarding my artwork as it is important to discover new ways of creating work that advances the ever-changing boundaries in textiles. Through the repetitive acts of mending worn cloth, landscape and the built environment allow me to find a place of discovery and understanding while making.

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