Fibers Turn to Flesh in Ophelia Arc’s Haunting Sculptures
Like carcasses hung from meat hooks, emerging artist Ophelia Arc’s fiber sculptures submit to the relentless tug of gravity as yarn mimics flesh falling from bone.
The multidisciplinary artist’s work incorporates new media—sound, video, and projection—to amplify sinewy fiber sculptures that resemble raw, open wounds. “I'm drawn towards dichotomies and the ways in which they can be dissected and psychoanalyzed,” she writes in her artist statement. “Common themes I like to explore are growth within rot, obsession within ritual, and the parasitic tendencies of symbiotic relationships.”
Drawn towards a tedious creation process, Ophelia relies on repetition to put her in a meditative state where she can process trauma and pacify ruminations on repeat. “I find myself drawn to methods which allow me to knead and rework traumatic experiences from my life,” Ophelia says. “My work is a methodical and ritualistic undertaking, as the labor behind each piece is one of mental distress and relief. Crochet becomes a way to lose myself in repetitive motion.”
In “my dearest amanda” (above), Ophelia stretches pink and brown yarn across a bulging chicken wire frame—a drooping sack of skin, bone, and viscera. Casting pinpricks of light on the nearest darkened wall, “my dearest amanda” morphs into two works: a broken body and its glimmering shadow, swaying together in time.
Eerily beautiful and surprisingly tender, Ophelia’s butcher shop of hanging sculptures evoke raw emotion as the artist conducts a brave investigation into the memories that “rot within one’s psyche.”
New Book By Katie Love
From Cult To Comedy, A Memoir, by Katie Love
The year is 1970. The horror soap opera “Dark Shadows” is all the rage, the Vietnam War is raging and nine-year-old Katie, an imaginative and independent latch-key kid, comes home from school to discover her mother’s suicide.
Taken in by her older sister who has recently become a Jehovah’s Witness, Katie is shown an illustration from a bible picture book featuring wild animals peacefully lounging by a pool of water, surrounded by happy people picking fruit. An enticing offer is made: “Katie, this is Paradise. Do you want to see Mom again, happy and living forever? All you have to do is follow all of Jehovah’s commandments and you can be with Mom again.”
Mom happy and living forever? Two tickets to Paradise, please!
So begins Katie’s zealous quest to attain perfection and entrance into a utopian world which promises peace, love, and happiness. She discovers a much darker world. “Two Tickets to Paradise, from Cult to Comedy” tells the hilarious and heartbreaking story of an earnest, bible-toting kid intent on saving the world, and follows her metamorphosis into a boisterous comedian intent on saving herself through the healing powers of humor.
“I find myself drawn to methods which allow me to knead and rework traumatic experiences from my life.” — Ophelia Arc
Ophelia Arc: Website | Instagram
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
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