Karen Kamenetzky: From Science to Fibre Art

American fibre artist Karen Kamenetzky believes that all change happens on an infinitesimal level and results in the world we experience everyday. Kamenetzky creates a kind of invented biology, zooming in on that fundamental nature of things and bringing it into vision. She works loosely from sketches but each piece travels a route of evolution and change.

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Beginning with white cotton and silk, Kamenetzky adds vibrant saturated color with dye and paint. The fabric is then cut freehand and the entire piece constructed using layered raw edge appliqué. Machine and hand stitching add lines of light and shadow as well as color.

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Her fiber wall hangings are inspired by microscopic/cellular imagery. All changes in essence happen on that infinitesimal level and result in the world we experience. My work is a kind of invented biology zooming in on that fundamental nature of things and bringing it into vision.

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“Starting with white cotton and silk, I add vibrant saturated color using dye and paint. Dense stitching adds lines of light and shadow as well as color. There is a tactile pleasure to handling and making art with fabric. I work loosely from sketches and concepts but each piece travels a route of evolution and change. My challenge is to trust the process to unfold”, says Karen about her work.

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Karen uses cottons and silks to create boldly colored wallhangings inspired by microscopic/cellular imagery – a kind of visual invented biology with textiles. She finds this imagery metaphorically rich since all change fundamentally happens on this infinitesimal level.

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Beside her artistic career Karen works as a psychologist. For over twenty years she has worked with adults and adolescents in the Brattleboro area, helping them to make positive choices and changes in their lives. Using warmth, humor and honesty, Karen has helped her clients navigate through difficult life changes. She teaches effective strategies to reduce and manage stress, anxiety and depression.

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