Sam Fields

BFA '96 / FACULTY 2004-2018

Craft is a tool for pushing against current structures of inequitable power. It is a place where I practice slowness, process, and haptic knowledge. Within craft I am drawn specifically to textile practice because of its complicated, often disturbing yet deeply empowering long history; for its involvement with every aspect of humanity, from our origin stories to the support or subversion of political structures; how it informs our economic systems, technology, personal history, and identity. We have a deep intimacy with cloth, the presence of our bodies living in both its process and product.

Drawing from historicized images of women in art, mythology, fiction, and our collective imagination I use cloth as portrait, as performance, as text, as container. These spaces are woven together in a complex hermeneutic circle of string and fabric, discordant elements pushing, pulling, bulging, dripping, tightly bound, and completely unraveling; simultaneously true and not true, moving back and forth between a celebration and a rejection, a peeling back of the wound and a healing and restoration.

My materials and processes hold conceptual weight coded with social meanings, giving me the space to play, experiment, and meander with the form the materials take. There needs to be space for me to be taught by my hands through the touching of materials. I need to be inefficient enough to discover and learn from the process, ideas and concepts become refined but never solidified. I never want them to be too solid, holding onto a space to move around in.

Sam Fields grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts, just south of Boston. Craft is a philosophy for Sam which acts as both resistance and a model for change; she uses the language of textile to create sculpture, performance, and spaces of engagement. Last year she founded the cloth collaborative, an art-making space focused on textile practices as a means to explore ourselves in relationship to each other and the earth, where communities can come together, make, converse, and heal.