Artist: Caryn Aasness
Gallery: CSULB SOA, Merlino Gallery
About the Artist:
Caryn Aasness is currently an undergraduate senior obtaining her BFA in fibers. She was a quirky, bubbly blonde who was truly passionate about her work (you could tell by just talking to her). She was always interested in touching things and working with her hands and that was the reason why she fell in love with working on textiles. From then on, she knew she wanted to be in the fiber program. Working with textiles also allowed her to communicate in a different way. Instead of just saying it, which she sometimes has a hard time doing, she is able to weave it into her art like a hidden message. Once she graduates from CSULB, she is planning to take some time off of school and dive into the real world to gain some experience.
When I first walked in, I thought what Caryn assumed everyone thought: “oh, these are just blankets hung on the wall”. I saw one textile in the back that stood out from the rest. This one was bigger and had huge words written on it, unlike the others. Then, turning, my attention to the rest of the textiles, I saw a paper next to each one, with some sort of coding for a message. Each textile had it’s own little message that everyone had to decipher.
After deciphering her codes, I was able to see the message she wanted to convey to her audience. These messages were cheesy, motivational quotes such as “Speak Up”. Caryn has admitted that these quotes were cheesy, but she wanted quotes that everyone could understand and feel for. Usually, textiles are overlooked because they are “cute” but if you don’t really take the time to appreciate them and notice the subtle messages, then you are missing out on important things.
Talking with Caryn really opened my eyes. I learned to not overlook anything because they might carry meaning behind them. After being taught how to decode the messages on the textiles by Caryn, I enjoyed walking around and decoding all the messages myself. Textiles have a lot more meaning behind them than I had anticipated. I’m amazed by her work and how she incorporates her messages in them in a way many people don’t realize.