Abby Sherrill Fall 2014 Project


Abby Sherrill uses various fiber techniques like basketry, embroidery, and netting in installation and sculpture forms. She has been included in many group exhibitions, and was recently awarded a Juror’s Award at the 2014 Materials Hard and Soft exhibition. She has participated in workshops with fiber artists such as Pat Hickman and Ann Coddington Rast. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Fibers at the University of North Texas where she also works as a Teaching Fellow.

Artist Statement

My studio practice is characterized by intuitive responses to material. The tactile differences in hard and soft materials intrigue me. I use thread, wood and wire to create line, often accumulating in repeating patterns.

My work is derived from memories of my childhood environment. I remember looking at books before I was taught to read, and devising my own rules of reading by counting the letters and numbers and analyzing their positions on the paper. I am interested in how cognitive systems are developed and used to organize information and relationships early in human development. I am intrigued by the mind as a machine, constantly absorbing and reprocessing information. The mystery of the unknown leads to exploration of possibilities and the creation of reasoning.

Playful manipulation of humble materials like cardboard, string and wood visually express my interpretation of childhood cognition. The connections appear intuitive or naïve, but are mindfully crafted with fiber techniques such as netting, basketry and weaving. Gestural drawings or masses of tangled string within a grid structure to symbolize childlike wonder within the confines of an existing system.

  1. Visualizing Reality

    This project was a simple process of interacting with material, observing the changes and documenting the results. Photographing, copying and hand drawing approaches were all utilized to explore the potential of the image. The multiple documented layers blur the perceived reality of the image. I related this process to my conceptual exploration of the ideas of learning, reality and memory. By creating the image, I learned. By observing and manipulating the image, I defined...
  2. Process Post 2

    As I continue my research in the connections between learning, reality and memory in the context of psychology, neuroscience and perception, I have decided to experiment specifically with cognitive development theory. This investigation will culminate through an integration of Gestalt and other visual perception theories in an interactive art piece. The viewer will be challenged to physically interact with the piece, creating a multi-sensory and perhaps disorienting experience. The artwork will be composed of multiple parts or “stations”,...
  3. Learning/Reality

      Considering the connections between LEARNING and REALITY in the context of neuroscience, psychology and philosophy: “Certain aspects of experience, it was assumed, were primarily determined by the basic physical structure of the brain and the nature of the neural processes occurring in it, and could not be altered by learning. The physical laws of organization governing these processes were assumed to govern our experience- particularly our experience of space and time” –The...

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