Eileen Hoffman

As a young girl, I was deeply engaged with knitting, embroidery, crocheting and weaving. I became connected to the tradition of textile arts and gained appreciation for the skill, vision and time that large projects require. Currently, I am creating wire tapestries and installations full of patterns and the color pink. By using non-traditional materials like chenille pipe cleaners and plastic, as opposed to standard textile materials, I am placing myself outside of traditional textile work and making the undervalued and unseen culture of women’s work visible.

I create patterns that have an emotional field, that have stories hidden inside of them. I use yarn and fabrics that I draw on, chenille pipe cleaners that I stain, and plastics that I knit and weave. I also use old diaries and draw in them so the words are unreadable, mysterious and only the emotion remains. I devised my own knotting and weaving system, allowing me to combine all of these materials to create large, intricate pieces.

I use the color pink to reflect upon what pink means to me. My room growing up was all pink—walls, furniture and fabric. I didn’t have the words then to be angry about sexism, about how a beautiful color became oppressive and limiting. I use pink now because that color is intrinsic to my art, which is so tied to the textile arts and the work of women.