Fabric of Spacetime

Illuminating Fragility -
A Lens into Clarity

While immersed in a second career in architectural glass art, I was chosen for a residency at the Pilchuck Glass School in 2015, a year after my mom's death from Alzheimer's disease. It was at this residency that I began viewing a new world through my art. This frontier examined that region of space where societal values and the universe we inhabit intersect.
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Detail of Navajo-style Weaving

The horizontal weft is alternating rows of LED-lit fiber optic strands and satin ribbon dyed on a gray scale. The weaving is 5' x 3' and installed is 10' x 4'.

LED-lit fiber optic strands

Highlighting the fragility of life, random slits with fiber optic strands protruding from the fabric symbolize the distortion of space and time.

For universal citizens... creating a global conversation for social equality.

About Candace Pratt

Candace Pratt

The residency at Pilchuck Glass School changed my life and my interaction with materials. I began by reflecting on our family's struggle with Alzheimer's disease that took my mom's life. Traveling through this unexplored area of life led to an illuminating encounter with new elements and of self-reflection.

The impact of our confrontation with this disease, coupled with the barrage of threats to social norms, thrust me into an examination of the broader view of current affairs.

Fabric of Spacetime embodies this search to illuminate the fragile nature of society. This Navajo-style weaving is a tribute to my mother's passion for the art form and is a study of mediums to reflect this changing landscape in society.

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Awards & Events:

  • International Fiber Arts IX Exhibition 2019, Sebastopol, CA
  • World Tapestry Now Biennial 2018 Award
  • Emerging Artist Showcase 2018 Fiber Arts Now
  • Illuminating Engineering Society, Welcoming Presenter, 2017
  • 2017 McGinty Conference Presentor - 'The Art of Caregiving'

Fabric of Spacetime - The Story and Inspiration

Damascus Fiber Arts School, built in 1874 on the Oregon Trail, Portland, OR

My mom was a Navajo-style weaver. For decades she wove at the Damascus Fiber Arts School built in 1874 on the Oregon Trail outside Portland. She battled Alzheimer's for 15 years until her death in 2014. She continued to weave long after she could no longer communicate verbally.

For nearly two decades I have manufactured architectural glass. I was chosen to participate in a residency at the Pilchuck Glass School a year after her death. During the residency I began exploring new materials beyond familiar glass and I ventured into a new realm. I merged my fascination of the wonders of deep space with the complexities of social justice.

Fabric of Spacetime began as a single-issue journey to address our family's all-consuming connection with Alzheimer's disease, and it unfurled into imagery highlighting the overwhelming forces tearing at the social fabric of our time. The lens through which I viewed this correlation revealed with clarity the incomprehensible beauty of chaos and compassion.

Audrey Moore (Rt), director of the Damascus Fiber Arts School, and Candace Pratt with warped-frame ready to weave.

For more than three decades I have been an amateur astronomer studying mesmerizing images of deep space and documenting personal observations through my telescope. I have always been drawn to connecting the vastness of the cosmos with our relevance. This Navajo-style weaving intertwines the forces seen in our observable universe with the fragility of our social environment.

Slowly as my mind traversed this expanse, the features of Fabric of Spacetime began to appear. The warp is the vertical material held in tension on the upright loom. It is the hidden strength of a weaving. Instead of choosing traditional wool for the warp, I knew I would use stainless steel cable. Only this cable could represent the strength necessary to resist the forces exerting pressure on society.

The weft of a Navajo-style weaving is the horizontal material passing in front of and behind the warp. It is a combination of 1000 yards of satin ribbon that I dyed as a gray scale and 2000 LED-lit fiber optic strands. This gradation from light to dark, along with the random slits and fiber optics protruding from the fabric, accentuate the distortion of spacetime. A high-tension floor-to-ceiling installation apparatus further represents these unimaginable external forces.

I can think of no word to better describe this phenomenon we are encountering than continuum. With each passing day, the forces impacting society are not perceptively different; yet over time, the social implications are profoundly evident. It is my hope that this art weaves a story that resonates with many who can visualize and act to preserve the balance that smooths the fabric of space and time.

Continuum:  With each passing day, the forces impacting society are not perceptively different; yet over time, the social implications are profoundly evident.

Photography by Brian McLernon Photography.