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"Crossing the Line" by Tanya Aguiñiga

When Los Angeles-based furniture and textile designer/maker Tanya Aguiñiga was approached by the Craft and Folk Art Museum to create an exhibition of her work, the artist had an off-the-wall idea—literally. “I wanted to create this crazy environment that involved all different types of yarn, weaving in midair through suspension, and small bits of color floating around so that when you enter the gallery the art is off the wall, and completely unlike typical museum spaces where everything is stationary,” says Aguiñiga. On view now through May 8th, Crossing the Line: A Space by Tanya Aguiñiga is a contemporary hand-made, site-specific installation inspired by her recent trip to the indigenous region of Chiapas, Mexico where she learned the ancient method of back-strap weaving. The result is a beautiful cave-like cobweb of brightly-colored crisscrossing strings that envelopes the viewer in a space woven together by traditions old and new.

Unlike modern-day looms that use large wooden structures, Aguiñiga fell in love with the Mayan tradition of back-strap weaving whereby one end is tied to a post and the other around your waist, “It was really freeing to be able to think about yourself as part of the loom.” She was inspired by the idea of being unconstrained by structures, frames, and mechanical ways of doing things—and motivated by the beauty and possibilities of weaving in midair. Photo courtesy of CAFAM.

Click through the slideshow for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the exhibition's installation.

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