Shelley Socolofsky is an artist/ educator living and working in Portland, Oregon/ USA. Informed by long histories of textile production with its orientation 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.  Shelley is the 2019 Astra Zarina Fellow with the Civita Institute.

Shelley received her MFA in textiles jointly from the University of Oregon and the Fondazione Arte Della Seta Lisio in Florence, Italy – with prior apprenticeships in Gobelin Tapestry weaving from Les Manufactures des Gobelins, Paris and Uzes, France. Recent exhibitions include the FOFA gallery, Concordia University, Montreal Quebec, Canada, Bellevue Arts Museum, Seattle; and the Farrell Collection, New York City. Her work can be found in international publications including Artist Magazine of Taiwan, and numerous public collections with a forthcoming residency in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy.








Wanting to re-negotiate the way in which ritual and phenomenology played out in my work – I began thinking about time and about the millions of repetitive incremental actions required in the making of laborious handiwork – and how this process simulates breath and rhythmic mantra.  And about the power of intention; how thought, energy and wave frequency impact matter – and about agency. This thinking led to significant changes in the way I approach image making and hand weaving.  Emanating first as type of glitch; pattern and process became information and, as such, became essential components informing both material choice and narrative structure.

Consistent across this work is an engagement with the history of textiles as a feminine language.  Intended as subversive gestures to disrupt, these works behave as ornamental charms using the lure and engagement as animating forces.  Consistent too are questions about how we are embedded and implicated within these patterns and narratives.

Employing similar binary and mathematic logic, the work utilizes both analogue and digital strategies, whether as a digital design tool in the larger hand labored tapestries, digital hand-woven Jacquard processes capturing images of moving surveillance footage, or the reflective and refractive characteristics of material choice, each work responds to and grows out of the former, mimicking biological and Cymatic formations.

Anchored in the material world, this work ultimately explores the intersections between matter and the immaterial and speaks to the nature of transcendence.