Shelley Socolofsky is an artist/ educator living and working in Portland. Informed by long histories of textile production with its orientations to pattern and decoration, her work explores the material, conceptual and poetic nuances of ‘craft’ through a hybrid practice incorporating both digital technology and analogue hand processes. Currently on the faculty at Oregon College of Art & Craft, Shelley received her MFA in textiles jointly from the University of Oregon, JacqCad Center (North Carolina), and the Fondazione Arte Della Seta Lisio in Florence, Italy (Jacquard hand weaving) – with prior apprenticeships in Gobelin Tapestry weaving from Les Manufactures des Gobelins, Paris and Uzes, France. Exhibiting in numerous museums and galleries including the de Young Museum, San Francisco; Bellevue Arts Museum, Seattle; and the Farrell Collection, New York City, Shelley is a recipient of several artist fellowships including grants from the Oregon Arts Commission and Ruth & Harold Chenven Foundation of New York. Her work can be found locally in several public collections and in print in FiberArts, Artist magazine of Taiwan, and Interior Design.
General Artist Statement
My works are ruminations on natural and man-made phenomena.
Drawing from biological, mathematical, and architectural forms, I create complex structures incrementally through accumulation of mark, gesture, object, or sound. Referencing long histories of pattern and decoration, this work mines the intersection of story telling and ritual.
Ancient divination, New Age romanticism, and Victorian mourning traditions become points of departure for an investigation into the creation of both personal and collective memorials. Early Eastern and Greek philosophers identified relationships between numbers and natural occurrences. Medieval sciences sought to understand natural events by interpreting chance geometric configurations created by the tossing of rocks and soil onto the ground, a practice known as Geomency. This, alongside Astrology and Numerology, were used as methods to understand the world and the movement of the planets. Later, Newtonian discoveries revealed the mechanics of the universe through a hybridization of these earlier principles.
These ideas circulate my digital/ haptic practice.
My process is slow, methodical, deliberate, exploiting excessive handiwork. Mimicking ritual behavior, this rhythmic practice incorporates time and duration as meaningful elements as I work to find ways to make reverent the smaller moments: edges, the overlooked, the marginalized – synthesized – then transcending the moment.