Shelley Socolofsky is an interdisciplinary artist based in installation and fiber. Her work explores the intersection of image, pattern, folklore, and archeology, elements used as platforms to examine and challenge expansionist narratives, replacing them with speculative landscapes.
See where my work is featured in local spaces: Shelley Socolofsky’s Wescover Map
Like the Medieval weaver, Shelley Socolofsky is a nomad at heart, having called many landscapes, from the shifting coastlines of Crete and California – to the cobbled, lavender Languedoc fields, home. Fueled by the sensations of touch and light, Shelley apprenticed with master Gobelins weavers in Uzes and Paris, France, and at Fondazione Arte della Seta Lisio in Florence, Italy, before earning an MFA at the University of Oregon in 2008. Shelley currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
Serving on the faculty in the Fibers Department at Oregon College of Art and Craft from 2010-2018 and as a professional mentor and committee member with Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Applied Craft + Design MFA program from 2011-2016, Shelley has taught all ages. She is currently on the faculties of Portland State University in the School of Art + Design, Portland Community College Visual Arts Dual Credit programming with Tigard High School, and is the school’s Visual Arts International Baccalaureate faculty and advisor. She has exhibited, taught, and lectured internationally about her studio work at venues including Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), The Civita Institute (Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy), Otis Art Institute (of Parsons School of Design/ Los Angeles, CA), The Museum of Contemporary Crafts (Portland, OR), Craft Alliance (Saint Louis, MO) and the de Young Museum (San Francisco, CA). Her work has been featured in American Craft Magazine, Interior Design Magazine, Artist Magazine of Taiwan, FiberArts Magazine, and ITNET publications.
GENERAL ARTIST STATEMENT
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 relationship between matter and the immaterial and speaks to the nature of transcendence.