I am stoked to host Anya E. Kiel of Farburvur who creates these wonderful soft sculptures. She’s a fabric lover who added textile art to her repertoire while in art school. I am so impressed with the detail in her work and her creative designs—you can tell they are true products of Anya’s imagination.
When did you start creating soft sculpture and why?
I started working with soft sculpture when I was in art school. There I discovered the work of artists like Lenore Tawney, Ruth Asawa, Louise Bourgeois, Lesley Dill, Annette Messager, and many others that have helped inspire and shape the direction of my work. I’ve done mixed media installation incorporating textiles along with several larger organic crochet sculptures. Fiber, during and after it’s manipulated into form, has a living breathing quality that I was instantly drawn to. Although my artistic style continues to evolve I think that fiber will remain a primary medium and important aspect of my work.
How would you describe the style of your work?
I’ve often described my work to others as a kind of modern folk art. Inspired by folktales, animal symbolism, and a relationship with the natural world. I hope my creations might surround others with the same sense of wonder with which they were created and spark inspiration in the people who have them.
Name three things that inspire you…
There are so many things that inspire me but if I had to choose three:
1. Nature is one of my greatest inspirations. The vast sea and the open sky. Plants and animals small and large… 2. Dance. Fluid movement and repetition, graceful lines and cascading fabric, dramatic turns and expressions… 3. Color, or in some cases, lack of color. All of the subtle variations, vibrant hues, and muted tones. I recently read an article about a woman, a ‘tetrachromat’, who scientists discovered can see 99 million more colors than the average person who sees about a million. Amazing isn’t it?
What was the last great movie you saw and why did you love it?
The newest version of Les Miserables with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. I love musicals and movies that try the human spirit, sweep you up in a whirlwind of emotion, and sometimes leave the tissue box empty.
Where do you do your work (in a sewing room, on your patio, in front of the TV, etc.)?
Not very often in just one place but I will usually wind up on the floor of my living room surrounded by piles of materials with music or a favorite film on in the backround. My dog will watch me quizzically until she gets bored and falls asleep.
Ok, you’re stranded on a desert island. Which five items do you hope to have with you?
A lighter, a good knife, a water canteen, a copy of Watership Down, and my wits about me.
What is your favorite kind of item to create?
That’s a tough question. I’m not sure I have a favorite item to create…I like making things that come alive when they’re done. Right now I’m working on birds and winged things.
How do you come up with the designs for your creatures?
I doodle a lot. Some of my creatures originate from sketches I’ve made but sometimes I work on a whim and let the materials guide me.
Anything else you’d like to add:
Making art helps keep me centered and takes my mind off of other things. I had a health issue surface about a year ago now which is at times quite exhausting to manage. Sewing, sculpting, and crocheting are an escape and a reminder to let go of things I can’t control.
Live every day like Alice exploring the rabbit hole… anything and everything could be waiting for you around the bend… “curiouser and curiouser”…
Thank you, Anya. Check out more of Anya’s work at Farburvur.