Artist Profile

Sonya Hammons Profile Photo

Sonya Hammons

I use textiles as the medium for abstract work in sculpture, installation, and two-dimensional pieces that reference abstract painting. My current focus includes a limited color palette, references to clothing/the body and a deeply intuitive process: using the medium of handmade felt as a physical manifestation of the psychological felt sense. The texture of these malleable materials invite us to physically grasp the pieces and experience them in a tactile, intuitive way. Much of my work encourages the natural tendencies of the materials to lead the creation process and allows the medium itself to convey a message. We could call this conceptual abstract materialism - or as I like to say, letting the materials tell me where to go.

I use materials and methods traditionally associated with both women’s work (labor-intensive, repetitive motions of fiber arts) and rustic nomadic communities (wet felting). This blend of the pragmatic material of felt and the reference to women’s work blends what is culturally expected as feminine with a rugged, durable reality. I explore dialectics of what seem like opposites: hard and soft, black and white, masculine and feminine, art and craft, formal and informal, radical and traditional.

I integrate my past experience as an ecologist and geographer with my instinct for creating symbols through color and texture. My focus on handmade felt allows me to use locally produced, climate-beneficial wool produced on organic farms, which references my previous career as a negotiator and United Nations advisor for international environmental agreements.

Influences include Anni Albers, Gregory Coates, Robert Rauschenberg, Ruth Asawa, the quilters of Gees Bend, natural dye experts globally, and a very long list of street artists.

A favorite quote:
‘Galleries and museums didn’t show textiles, that was always considered craft and not art. […] When it’s on paper it’s art.’
-Anni Albers

Houseboat-born and bred. A few degrees in geography. Former diplomat and trapeze performer. Artist.

Instagram: @totallyfabricated

My Artwork

Feeling offset

Sonya Hammons

Let’s Tesselate

Sonya Hammons

topography of a felt sense

Sonya Hammons

me too, cracking

Sonya Hammons

not even black and white is black and white 7

Sonya Hammons

The Path Varies

Sonya Hammons

dress gesture 1

Sonya Hammons

not even black and white is black and white 14

Sonya Hammons

alluvia in black and white

Sonya Hammons

Cut to Become the Same Cloth

Sonya Hammons

not even black and white is black and white 7

Sonya Hammons

not even black and white is black and white 12

Sonya Hammons

faces, booked

Sonya Hammons

ghosted

Sonya Hammons