Reclaimed fabric, ceramic, copper, thread, acrylic and interfacing
17 x 17 x 15 inches
Virginia Mahoney is a mixed media sculptor whose work incorporates sewing, recurrent clay forms, and handwriting. She is fascinated by the variation in repetition, and the ambiguity of words, standards, and categories. She notices discomfort in thought or action and reflects on identity inherent in garments.
For Mahoney, building and making are sources of comfort and self-definition, unlocking ideas and pathways to discovery. Her laborious, elaborate process fosters reflection and lays bare the threads of her decisions, exposing both progress and pitfalls. As she skirts conventions in her approaches to methods and materials, she often embraces fortuitous outcomes.
Mahoney’s garment forms embody doubt, uncertainty, and thoughts that hang in the background, weighing us down with questions, thwarted progress, and second-guessing. Ceramic tags pierce the object with spikes or sharp wires; their handwritten words hint at haunting thoughts or actions, barriers real or invented, unrealized expectations. A vest might suggest protection, uniform, identification, accessory, warmth, or utility, but these garments manifest the discomfort of struggle.