Tandem (Shane & Paul)
reclaimed and commercial fabric on felt, thread 100” x 84”
Fuzzy Mall is a self-taught textile artist, who specializes in applique portraiture. Upon graduating from Kent State University, he began his work in painting and mixed media, showing regionally throughout the Midwest. His focus solely in textiles started five years ago when he and his family moved to Dundas, Ontario, where they currently reside. Since that transition, Fuzzy has won several awards including Best in 2D at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, City of Hamilton Emerging Artist of the Year, and Craft Ontario Emerging Artist Award. His work has been featured in several magazines, including Fiber Art Now’s Emerging Artist Showcase and Excellence in Fibers VI issues.
reclaimed and commercial fabric on felt, thread 42” x 84” 2019
My work in portraiture is interaction driven. I get to know my subject by taking candid photos and studying their unique body language. Focusing on the person in mid-motion, I capture raised eyebrows, crooked smiles and waving hands that we all use to communicate. This is a response to the deluge of Instagram and Facebook images currently flooding our daily lives. My intention is to reinterpret fleeting imagery by slowing down the process and hand working it, slowly creating a permanent object from an image that we are accustomed to seeing swiped away by a finger. Ephemeral moments disappear unless made permanent in some way. My goal is to tap into the tradition of quilts and painted portraits as family heirlooms by creating contemporary portraits from these casual photographs that are snapped by cell phones, often live in the cloud, and usually disappear.
My latest series “Piecing Quiet” is an expansion on this idea. I capture people in action, in personal settings, doing things they love to do. The work is a response to our current media landscape, which is jarring and anxiety- inducing. As an American living in Canada, I have been feeling helpless watching each news cycle. This new work is a response to the number of depressing news stories coming out of my home country. I feel sad, angry, frustrated,
and ineffective. As a method of coping, I focus on a localized and momentary happiness. This series portrays people doing simple things that bring them bliss, whether it be gardening, biking, yoga, or playing with a pet. More than ever, I need to see people enjoying life’s small moments.
My work is created by fused appliqué of mostly reclaimed fabrics. This newest project breaks the square/rectangle format of traditional portraiture by eliminating the frame. Figures are larger than life-sized, include the entire body, and exist independent of any background, floating on the wall or in space. Each portrait becomes more sculptural, casts its own shadow, and lives in a space in a new and unexpected way. Our experience becomes more intimate; the figure invites the viewer to enter this personal moment and allows us to be in the same space during that captured moment. Hopefully, we slow down.
reclaimed and commercial fabric on felt, thread 86” x 46” 2020