Sophie Zeman-Hale is a fiber artist based in Burlington, Vermont. She mainly practices weaving, but also creates sewn works and drawings. She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019 with a BFA in Studio Art. Her artist statement is as follows:
I am a weaver working in abstraction. I am drawn to working in fiber media because of its ability to indirectly represent bodily forms. I am also interested in the way the process of weaving itself is related to the body. Operating the loom is incredibly strenuous on the body. The weaver must accommodate both their work and their body to the loom and its limitations. Additionally, the functions of the loom mimic our own genetics. Both begin as a form of code, which is then translated and constructed into a completed whole.
Much of my work utilizes medical or scientific imagery as a source for abstraction. In my work microscopic views of muscle tissue, protein structures, moss or algae blooms become abstracted forms. I work in a way in which the final outcome is impossible to fully predict. In my weavings, unevenly dyed warp and weft yarns meet to create new unpredictable forms. Certain sections are woven less densely, which distorts the woven grid of interlacing threads. I also work using double weave cloth, which allows for different structures to overtake each other. The layers of cloth obscure or reveal, in the same way the spread of mold or moss obscures the surface beneath.
I see this mode of making as a form of mutation. The original images from nature or the body mutate into abstracted compositions. And one weaving might then become a starting place for the next one. In this way, the body of work mutates and evolves as well.