Felt Paintings by Jenne Giles
Jenne Giles is a San Francisco-based artist whose work ranges from traditional fine arts and crafts to innovative performance and installation art. Jenne graduated from the High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Houston, TX, in 1993. In 1997 she received her degree in Art & Art History from Rice University in Houston, TX.
In 1999, Jenne moved to San Francisco where she participated for many years in the art underground scene; here she learned to costume, perform, & work with experimental installations. While apprenticing for 5 years in architectural metalworking, Jenne was commissioned to create principal large-scale interactive installations for the annual Burning Man Festival in Nevada from 2000-2003.
In 2005, Jenne started her own business, Ink Operated. Seeking a new medium to work with, she discovered fiber and the art of sculpting with wool & water. Jenne is self-taught through online research/books & experimentation. In 2007, she launched Harlequin Feltworks, a business specific to felt scarves which is perhaps best known for its innovative Rose Scarf design. In 2010, she published Felt Fashion: Couture Projects for Garments & Accessories combining pattern-making, sewing & felt-making techniques.
Jenne says, “Fiber has been a very rewarding medium, albeit completely unexpected. I found myself in need of a new art form and “discovered” the potential of wool by happenstance. Why I had no no awareness of fiber as an art material, after years of immersion in fine art, was a bit of a mystery in itself. Discovering the artistic possibilities of fiber opened the door to a vast realm of novel techniques & materials, unlocking, as well, a window to new ideas and to past history.”
Jenne’s work with felt paintings & soft sculpture is a return to conceptual, fine art work. “It is perhaps difficult for me to separate my art from my experience as a woman in a dichotomized world, but I strive for more universal concepts that can reach across differences of identity. My work is primarily motivated by the desire to introduce small riddles embedded in the conceptual fabric of the piece; these loose threads might hopefully snag in the minds of others, unraveling a new awareness in those who interact with my art. “