Joshua Yurcheshen

Squid Hat Josh

I have bounced around so many mediums on my path to fibers, I can’t even list them all.

Immediately prior to weaving making an appearance in my life, I was an aspiring printmaker; an etcher.  The issue I found with my work is that, being raised by clinical psychologists and being in psychotherapy myself, all my work was figurative, narrative, and autobiographical.

After nakedly displaying my various mental states for five years, it became apparent that subjecting my personal stories to the critique of others was doing more harm to my psyche than good.  The energy I was putting into printmaking was energy lost; there was not much return on my investment and it didn’t feed my soul.

Luckily, I had already begun to journey into fibers.  Knitting and crocheting were among the skills that I had long ago acquired, but they hurt my hands and I had had to give them up.  A beginning handweaving class opened up a form of yarncraft that allowed me to create items without causing pain in the process.  It was like bumping into an old friend.

I had no idea at the time that ten years and hundreds of scarves and shawls later, I would begin using an abstract medium to explore the very same intensely personal themes to which printmaking had given an outlet.  The crucial difference being, the formal and mechanical constraints of weaving do as much to obscure the themes I talk about as illuminate them.

I have found a home that offers safety, and the freedom to fully express myself.

Artist Statement of Work

Tell us about your work (style, approach, philosophy, subject and/or theme):

Fibers is a strange medium in which to find oneself.  Our lives are so full of mass-produced textiles that we are more impressed by an unclad body than a body swathed in fabric.  The fabrics themselves become almost invisible in their ubiquity.  In addition, the ability to faithfully reproduce our visual perception of reality is more hampered by the mechanics of fabric production than by those of other media.  For me, it becomes a game of finding emotion in abstraction.  Yet I insist that there is merit in weaving; that by taking control of the means of creating a garment, one takes control of the power that garment can wield.  The ideas it embodies.  The uses to which it lends itself.  I in fact insist that, if one puts in enough time and effort, fabric can transcend it's unfairly assumed utilitarian nature completely.  Having been raised by clinical psychologists, I might be inordinately interested in how people choose to present themselves.  The psychology of dress is fascinating to me, and even the simple scarf offers infinite possibilities.  To a large degree, clothing is our plumage.  It is the same drive for psychological understanding that makes me turn the action of producing fabric toward sparking conversations.  The art objects I fashion are glimpses into my life; explorations of my inner world.  Whether by color, pattern, texture, or shape, my aim is to communicate with the viewer on a deep, meaningful level.  

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