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Nicole Donnely

Artist Statement 

I have always been drawn to thread and string as a medium for the creation of structures. When I was introduced to papermaking at the Morgan, I found myself cutting and twisting some of my classroom experiments into strips which I began to incorporate into my weaving. Then I learned about kozo - caring for it in the garden at the Morgan beginning in the Summer of 2021 - stripping and scraping it after harvest at the November 2021 harvest, I found myself fantasizing about making thread from the kozo paper. I am drawn to making thread using kozo but humbly realize that there is no way for me to even come close to the masters who have spent their lives turning paper into a thread called Shifu. I approach this project as a learning path - to make thread/fabric/garment using my background and borrowing in a very basic fashion some of the techniques I have read about from those who make Shifu. Being able to add paper thread to my work, in whatever rudimentary form, will significantly enhance my ability to express the art I create - always making threads to connect us while honoring the world-changing work that flows from the hands of women

Paula Damm


"I was born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio within view of Johnson's Island Lake Erie's Sandusky Bay.  Forever having fiber in my fingers,   I am intrigued how making marks with needle and thread can be both art and poetry, contemplative and dangerous (think needles piercing flesh), and a way to envelop revered objects, thoughts, and words.  

I have spent my life honing my skillset in sewing, knitting, weaving, and embroidery to get to where I am today as a woman who makes visual poetry and visual art.   There are many women before me who have been erased, minimized, or discounted.  There are many more now that are being recognized and there will be many more in the future riding on the shoulders of those that came before." 

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