There is something surprisingly appealing about big patches of colorful fabric joined together. Their fuzzy appearance makes you want to touch them and enjoy their softness. But while you can easily do this with rugs and wall decorations, you might want to keep your hands to yourself if you ever happen to come across textile installations by Sarah Zapata.
Zapata is a Texas native who creates intriguing textile art installations that feature high columns or various grounded shapes covered in fabric. Her works transform the space, taking the viewer on an exciting journey through the world of fabric one piece at a time.
“I’m always thinking about how to occupy opposites and how to really be both and neither,” Zapata explained her approach to installations in a recent chat with Colossal. “I’m always trying to lean into this in-between space, not only physically but thinking about that in terms of time and accessing past, futurity, existing in the present, always this amorphous sense of time.”
Zapata’s art is strongly influenced by the textile traditions from Peru, the country where her father was born. Textile has played a major part in Peruvian history, and artworks using fabric can be dated back to the Paracas people, who lived in the area around 600 BC. Textile still has an important role in Peruvian culture, being used in ceremonies or as gifts for special occasions.
You will be able to see Zapata’s works in person at some of her upcoming exhibitions in Kansas City’s Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. If you can’t make it there, check out some of her textile art below.