Sally England (American, b. 1979) Sacred Arch, 2015 Cotton rope 43 x 22 inches Image courtesy of the artist
Michigan Artist Series Sally England: New Knots
January 31, 2016 – April 17, 2016
Sally England is a fiber artist based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Ojai, California. She has gained national acclaim for her work in macramé, an ancient form of textile making using decorative knots. The art of macramé dates to the thirteenth century, when Arabian weavers knotted the extra thread at the edges of loomed fabric into decorative fringe. The European history of macramé can be traced to sailors of the early fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, who spread the art form across the globe. Macramé was revived in the Victorian era and again in the 1970s. Today, the craft is appreciated for its uniqueness and tactility in an age when we are surrounded by mass manufactured objects and digital imagery.
England creates her macramé using thick ropes, producing large-scale and unconventional works that have a strong physical presence. She excels in the precision and uniformity of her knots, to produce work with both great technical skill and a playful spontaneity. England’s exhibition at GRAM will be on the Museum’s light-filled Second Floor East Court.