Anna Carlson (MFA Graphic Design, University of Minnesota) challenges everyday codes and contexts with printed and embroidered textiles. Her conceptual work explores self-identity and memory, merging current issues with cloth and apparel to examine, trace, and challenge the ways text is used to communicate.
Her creative practice includes print and pattern design for fashion, soft goods, limited edition apparel collections, and historic reproduction.
Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Ornament magazine and the FiberArt Design book series, and is included in private and museum collections.
From 1990-2006, Carlson sold her clothing collection across the country in prestigious craft shows and galleries. Her work is in the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Goldstein Museum of Design. She has taught apparel and surface design theory and technique to university students and lifelong learners.
To learn more, visit www.annacarlson.com
My work combines text, typography, and printing to create textural patterns on cloth. Textiles remind us of intimate experiences, evoking sensory memories such as a boyfriend’s scratchy wool coat, or the crochet throw on grandma’s sofa. Similarly, language patterns connect us with others over time and space.
Building layered surface patterns with silk, cotton, dyes, inks, and embroidery refers to the links with the past, and those who influence our lives. The process of printmaking, which allows for both similarity and variation in each imprint, records my investigations into the intersection of memory processes, kinetic self-identity, and how we communicate who we are to the world around us.
I create patterned surfaces and book forms to illustrate how language—spoken, written, and worn on the body—captures a moment in time. Altered texts and textiles reflect the changing nature of words and meaning, and how we navigate these shifts. Ambiguity plays an important role in this work in order for each viewer to connect with her own memories. The words can prompt images and recollections that will then alter the course of the future.
The recalled text in the current series serves as material to be examined and perpetuated in the tangible form of pages. Stories of my mother’s life as a designer/maker provide word-patterns to trace with thread. Each gestural stitch commits the words to the cloth, fusing her memories to my own body/mind and creative production.