sculpture, mixed media
For Virginia Mahoney, building and making are sources of comfort and self-definition, unlocking ideas and pathways to discovery. Her ideas are often inspired or expanded through interaction with materials and process.
Fascinated by the variations that occur in repetition, she uses stitching, handwriting, and hand-formed clay. She assembles repurposed clothing and scraps to create raw material, and builds three-dimensional forms and fasteners with wire. Mahoney pushes against the conventions of craft, and embraces fortuitous outcomes. She reflects on identity inherent in garments and notices discomfort in thought or action.
Her current series of sculptural vests is inspired by work uniforms and addresses obstacles or challenges. Words handwritten on ceramic tags, which pierce the garments, hint at burdens and difficulties: haunting thoughts and actions, barriers real or invented, unrealized expectations. A vest might suggest protection, flotation, uniform, identification, accessory, warmth, or utility, but these vests manifest the discomfort of struggle.
Mahoney has recently begun exploring the collar as a new form, in relation to these ideas.
Virginia Mahoney has a B.A. from the University of Florida, was a Core Fellow at Penland School of Crafts, and earned her M.F.A. in ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art.