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NEW YORK TEXTILE MONTH 3

TA L K I N G
T E X T I LE S
01 HANDWRITING
The current troubling moment invites
us to explore how fabric becomes
conversation, how fiber gets form
and how patterns lead to branding.
TEXTILES
It wants to convey the multiple facets of fabric making and the multiple
expressions that are used. It shows how mending and quilting are essential
tools for the future of fashion and how ancestral crafts are reborn today.
We are finally understanding the handwriting of textiles as an important
tool to craft communication. We can confirm the growing importance of old
= new as an axiom for the creative industries. Most expressions are rooted
in the past to become an important given again; starting with the colour
pink discovered to be the oldest pigment found on our planet. The fibers are
designed by nature and processed by years of knowledge, the yarns are spun
and twisted with manifold trials and errors, the weaving is invented in
all corners of the world, simultaneously it seems. Ropes are knotted to become
the world’s first encoded computers, ropes are coiled in new constructions
and ropes become art when twisted from human pain. Political insights lead
to another vision on fabric making and take textiles out of their comfort zone,
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illustrating that the human race has now officially become an endangered

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species, next to our beautiful four footed friends, fishes and birds. There-
fore fear has become a leading argument for contemporary culture, making
graduates fence themselves in with quilted, padded, felted and armored
ingredients. At times humans return to their animalistic ancestors designing

l eft pa g e: Sea C reature, 201 3 , 29” W x 52 ” H , na tu ra l m an i l a ro p e


cover : Healing Hear ts, 201 4 , 36 ” W x 1 03” H , n atu ral m an i l a ro p e
new textural textiles with shaggy and fringed finishes and floating fibers;
it seems as if soon the human race will start hibernating.
Antique cultures influence creation with goddess dresses and Copt pain-
tings, where the Vatican dictates fashion and Venice reveals the splendor
of its printed velvets. The newest expressions are inspired by centuries of
culture, making old = new a rule for creation.
Confirming the comeback of textiles, young global graduates embrace
the ancient wisdom of weaving with renewed fervor. Weaving is also central
to an initiative where local design studios are creating a collection of
luxurious woven blankets crafted from natural coloured regional wool.
Weaving is re-integrating the world of art. Weaving will house migrants when it
becomes architecture and can assist health when done on a microscopic scale.
This unbridled, unscripted and unruly vision of the future of textiles is going
to be the DNA of the new Textiles MFA at The New School, a hybrid
curriculum where formidable faculty will bridge high tech and slow craft.
Studying the history and anthropology of fabric will contribute to a
contemporary culture of ancient inspiration and future aspiration.

Lidewij Edelkoort
Dean of Hybrid Design Studies,
The New School, New York
All her life she has started again, learning, exploring and

left page : Hea l i n g Hea r ts, 2014, 36” W x 103” H, na tu ra l ma n i l a rop e ri g ht pa g e: Self Po r t rait, 20 1 5 , 26” W x 8 0 ” H , na tu ra l , m an i l a ro p e, po l i sh ed h e mp
then turning a page, moving to another city, considering yet
another inception. Susan Beallor-Snyder is the absolute beginner.
A slow yet imposing rhythm that has taken its toll but also
donated its fruit; creating new homes, new recipes, new
photographs, new jewelry, new sculpture. As a wife and mother
she followed the demanding career of her husband and moved
multiple times through the country, learning at each step
another discipline at each step, engaging in another career.
Often these creative endeavors were overshadowed by the
demands of the family, the dogs, the entertaining, the cooking
and the failing health issues.
As long as she can remember she has been an artist, it is
who she is, not what she expresses. First a photographer, then
a goldsmith and now a fiber artist, born as much an artist as
an amateur, she has practically self-taught herself each step of
her creative life, assisted by classes at SCAD and in a course
she took in Manhattan, called Absolute Beginner. Finally, and in
order to keep her sanity, she chooses to become true to herself,
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whatever the cost.

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Beallor-Snyder was born in textiles as she learned to knit
for her trolls as a kid and crafted macramé with her sister in
the 70s. Decades later she became inspired by the works of
Magdalena Abakanowicz that led to the exploration of abaca,
an unexpected fiber with its very own recalcitrant force. From
soldering to weaving was just a matter of scale, a visceral
handwriting that choreographes an entangled mass of matter.
The initial love for textiles has returned to be expressed in
thick manila rope in a process of pain-filled construction of her

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THE
pieces. A pain that is both physical and psychological since the
rough matter hurts the hands as it hurts the anima, releasing
trauma. On the floor she is struggling with the robust and sturdy
matter. As she is knotting and weaving her imposing pieces, she

ABSOLUTE
sometimes looks at herself as the Jackson Pollock of fiber, a
flow of lyrical movements that seem to be guided by unbridled
emotion. As an autobiographical art form her pieces tackle her
broken heart, her remodeled soul, her conquered angst and her

BEGINNER
regained self esteem like a tongue in cheek self portrait.
Coming to terms with her self imposed separation of the
inner artist she mends her large scale obsessions one by one,
growing as an artist and growing as a person, able to connect
with others that sense similar problems. In sharing her sorrow
she came to understand her doings as women’s work, no longer creation Susan Beallor-Snyder
just expressing her own, but becoming one with the emotions photos Jeff Roffman
of others, other women, the caretakers of the world. text Lidewij Edelkoort

Susan Beallor-Snyder, an American artist born and raised in New York City, has come
full circle after moving around the United States for much of her adult life. Back in
New York she is putting her artwork front and center. susanbeallorsnyder.com

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