Dawn Ertl

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Short Term, Long Term, Relationships (weather data drawings), 2015 Weather Data Variable
Radius of Action (Exhibition shot), 2015 Mixed Variable
Short Term, Long Term, Relationship, 2015 Rayon, Wool, Weather Data Variable
Short Term, Long Term, Relationship (detail), 2015 Rayon, Wool, Weather Data Variable
Short Term, Long Term, Relationship (detail), 2015 Rayon, Wool, Weather Data Variable
One Nation Under God, 2015 Wool, Single Use Plastic, Music Variable
One Nation Under God (detail), 2015 Wool, Single Use Plastic, Music Variable
Short Term, Long Term, Relationships, 2014 Tencel, Wool, Weather Data Vairable
The Warmth of Your Embrace, 2016 Tencel, Wool, Weather Data Variable
The Warmth of Your Embrace, 2016 Tencel, Wool, Weather Data Variable
The Warmth of Your Embrace, 2016 Tencel, Wool, Weather Data Variable
The Warmth of Your Embrace, 2016 Tencel, Wool, Weather Data Variable
The Warmth of Your Embrace, 2016 Tencel, Wool, Weather Data Variable
Quick Facts
Otis College of Art and Design, 2010, BFA
California State University, Long Beach, 2015, MFA
fibers/plastics mixed-media, fiber installation, conceptual, sculpture

My work is an exploration of metaphor pertaining to process, material, structure, and information within the frame of relationships. I use different methodologies depending on the situation and level of clarity necessary to explain or define these parameters. My work is based on the relationships we have with each other and how that affects the natural environment. Each project involves a wide range of techniques and ideas, which continue to change as my practice evolves.

I seek to make a connection between things taken or used without understanding the full range of that action. This is a problem I witness in the context of relationships: making decisions based on isolated need or want vs. collective and/or connected need. Since the way I process the information doesn’t translate directly, abstraction becomes a part of the process.

Another artist said the following about my work: “Usually I think of code as a way of making sense of something, but you are using code to abstract the data.” Steven Frost

With the weather pattern weavings, The Warmth of Your Embrace and Short Term, Long Term, Relationships, it is important for me to show the details within the larger picture and how we as people comprehend that information. The weather data is collected using a custom computer program that captures data only when I decide to collect it. To me, it looks like a beautiful arrangement of the referenced action taking place over most of the United States. The program assesses the content within a predetermined context. Wind direction, temperature, dew point and humidity form questions for the program to gather and translate. I then integrate my own knowledge by reading and interpreting the resulting data. I set up one code for the hand and another for the loom, then I translate the loom code into a script that allows me to more easily dress the loom. When I’m weaving, I follow shapes and spaces from the original drawings to create disruptions in the logic of the weaving process. I choose not to fix anything correctly; instead, I highlight the disruptions and continue on until the end. When the weavings are shown together, they highlight the struggle of an ever-changing process relative to the strength of the whole system within that environment. The viewer is able to step back and see the bigger picture. The view changes depending on where you move, where you look, what you are aware of, and what you see.

One Nation Under God is in reference to a shared space both physical and mental, dictated by a controlling ideology. Musical notation is used in the physical pattern. I use songs that occupy a liminal space between hope and doom, which aligns with my feelings on environmental issues, specifically the problems manifested when religious ideology is used to shape government policy. Weaving is a constructed system that relies on each of the contiguous pieces for stability. It embodies the relationship between human beings in a closed system. The materials used are hand-dyed wools and collected single-use plastics, primarily plastic bags. The plastic represents a material convenience that comes at the expense of our collective welfare. The colors used–various greens, reds, whites, and blues–are louder and brighter than colors one might traditionally associate with the American landscape, but truer to our nature: the toxicity and artificial sense of happiness.

Beyond science and personal connections, I am inspired by the practices of the following artists: El Anatui and Louise Nevelson, both of whom use consumer and production byproducts to create monument-like structures; The Harrisons and their inspired interventions, problem-solving, and documentation; Nathalie Miebach, particularly how she creates her own codes through personalized interpretations; Sheila Hicks, Eva Hesse, Lee Bontecou and, Magdalena Abakanowic, who push beyond prescribed boundaries, are more formal influences


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