20 April 2024

The Loom’s Inherent Logic

Molly Haynes weaves the
materiality of place


by Kate Mothes

“Growing up visiting my grandparents in coastal Massachusetts, I observed the dunes slowly erode to the point where the grass roots are detaching and forming masses on the beach. I feel a reverence towards these once-stabilizing roots,” says Los Angeles-based artist Molly Haynes.

Incorporating a variety of organic fibers like kenaf, linen, cotton, and wool, Haynes uses a manual floor loom to weave distinctive textile objects that draw on the materiality of place. Found objects, such as pieces of cholla cactus skeleton, occasionally work their way into structures held together with monofilament, with each structure’s composition led by the texture and density of the fiber, existing neither totally in the natural or in the synthetic world.

“On one hand, the complexity of my work references natural structures that are skeletal, porous, and morphing with growth or decay,” Haynes says in a statement. “Abiding by the loom’s inherent logic, they simultaneously retain an industrial presence which mimics fishing nets or architectural mesh.”

Husk, 2022. Kenaf fiber and monofilament, 50 x 44 x 4 inches

Pieces like Husk (2022), or Changeling (2023) incorporate recesses or pocket-like openings that mimic mouths or wounds. Where storms, tides, or human intervention cause a constant cycle of erosion in coastal places, the marks left on the land are often jarring, and as sea levels continue to rise, we are more cognizant than ever of these changes and shifts.

Amid the relationship between containment and abundance, order and organic chaos, Haynes aims to convey the tense convergence of humans and our continual impact our environments on both a micro and macro scale. In our endless tinkering—introducing one species here or genetically modifying another over there—local changes can lead to incredible ecosystem transformations.

“I draw inspiration from the landscape of my adopted home state of California in addition to the marshy intertidal zones of the east coast, where I am originally from,” Haynes says. “Weaving satisfies an innate desire to capture and preserve what is vulnerable about places that are in flux—or already lost.”

Find more on the artist’s website and Instagram.

Net with Two Holes, 2021. Cotton and wool, 45 x 9.5 x 3 inches
Volume Stripe III, 2022. Cotton, linen, wool, and steel rod, 16 x 19 x 2.5 inches
Changeling, 2023. Kenaf fiber and monofilament, approx. 84 x 50 x 7 inches
Warped Lines, 2019
Formation, 2021. Kenaf fiber, silk, linen, cotton, and acrylic rod, 22 x 27 x 3 inches
Fence, 2022. Yucca leaves, cotton, synthetic cord and monofilament, 11 x 6.5 x 1 inches

Header image: Fence (detail), 2022. Yucca leaves, cotton, synthetic cord and monofilament, 11 x 6.5 x 1 inches

All images © Molly Haynes

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