* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Chellis Baird blurs the intersection of painting, sculpture and textiles. Baird explores the elements of painting by reconstructing handwoven canvases from a unique perspective. Her bespoke process begins with woven structures as her base. Each canvas starts with neutral toned materials that are then painted, dyed and sculpted into dimensional brushstrokes. She creates tangled compositions through a series of twists, knots, and upcycled textiles. Baird’s background in fashion allows her to dress the canvas with imagination. Not unlike a garment, she uses color to emphasize the authenticity and body of each piece. Baird received her BFA in textiles from Rhode Island School of Design and studied studio art at the Art Students League in New York City.
Chellis explains the work by saying, “My practice explores how daily actions impact social fabric. The repetitive gestures of today’s digital culture–scrolling, typing, clicking–have drastically altered the way we interact collectively, intellectually and emotionally. To experience the motion of art, I blur the lines between paint and canvas, color and form. Twisted, knotted and stuffed ropes highlight the sublime tension between brush and canvas, at times violating the confines of the frame by bubbling over the two-dimensional surface. My textural language draws upon a lifetime of influences such as dance, fashion, textiles and color. These elements have become a constant source of inspiration for my handwoven canvases by catalyzing the emotional exploration of tangled compositions. Using unique perspectives, I invite the viewer to immerse themselves in the tactility of the human hand and spirit, with enough space to fill in and release their own emotions”.