Last week on FEEDBACK FRIDAY we welcomed artist, writer, educator and founding director of the Nomad MFA Carol Padberg. Carol has an art and ecology studio where she weaves with living Oyster mushrooms, using yarn that is colored by plants from her backyard dye garden. She uses regenerative agricultural strategies to maintain a city micro-farm called Nook Farm House.
Carol Padberg’s FEEDBACK FRIDAY presentation took us into the world of interspecies art, in which a flock of sheep, a dye garden, soil organisms, Oyster mushrooms and a human being weave their stories together. The resulting living textile art is designed to be worn, provoke questions, and then decay into the dye garden’s soil. Carol explores stories from this sprawling creative practice and connects those stories to mythology, ecofeminist thinking and daily living – and listening – strategies. Attendees learned more about ways that color can be seen as relationship, and gardening can be understood as resetting one’s orientation within the web of life.
Watch the recording here.
Carol also raises Leicester Longwool sheep with a friend in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. This spinner’s flock provides wool for the homespun yarn that she makes for her multispecies weavings. The sheep also provide teachings, joy, and a grounded practice of care and responsibility. Living closely with Oyster mushrooms, dye plants, soil organisms and sheep is Carol’s way of participating in the creative vortex of the planet’s vitality. Her research explores these interspecies narratives and relates them to currents of thought in ecofeminism, earth-based wisdomraditions, and contemporary art.
Her art has been the subject of exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and the New Britain Museum of American Art. Her initiatives have been featured at the Walker Art Center, MoMA, and the Creative Time Summit at the Venice Biennale. Recent papers and presentations have been featured in the Social Theory in Art Education Journal; the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts Quarterly; STREAMS: Transformative Environmental Humanities Conference, Stockholm; the InSEA European Congress, Aalto University; the Multispecies Storytelling Conference, Linnaeus University; and Imaginative Futures: Arts Based Research as Boundary Event Symposium, Arizona State University. Carol Padberg’s writings have recently been published in two books – Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practices (Punctum Press, 2022) and EcoArt in Action: Activities, Case Studies and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities (NYU Press, 2022).
Carol’s art is currently on view in New York City as part of the exhibition Fragile Rainbows: Traversing Habitats at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center. More info here.
If you are not familiar with FEEDBACK FRIDAY, every week, we speak with dyers, artists, scientists and scholars about our favorite topic, natural dyeing and color. Curated by Amy DuFault, Botanical Colors’ Sustainability Director and presented by Botanical Colors’ Founder Kathy Hattori.
We even have our own theme song thanks to musician Jimmie Snider (click here to hear more of his music including a new song called Looking Out The Window)!