Nicole is a textile artist and Lecturer in Textiles at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She received an MFA in Textile Arts from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Central Missouri. Her work has been featured in the international publications, Fiber Art Now and Surface Design, and is part of the Crossing Generations: Past, Present & Future exhibition at the 2017 Surface Design Association Conference in Portland, Oregon. Nicole is also a current artist of the 2017-2018 Walthall Fellowship in Atlanta, GA.
My current work examines the numerous layers of the body affected by chronic pain, as it relates to spinal health. This includes the physical, psychological, and emotional impact that chronic pain has on different individuals. I engage with the complexities of the human anatomy through objects that exist, or could exist, on the figure, as well as large panels that represent different layers of the body. Each piece allows for the consideration of how the object affects the wearer/viewer and how the wearer/viewer affects the object.
My responsiveness to the spine as a subject initiates through my own chronic back pain and the knowledge that spinal issues are very common. Most people with back pain are constantly aware of the role the backbone plays in supporting their body and facilitating movement. Comfort/Confine is a full body casing that considers the broad, restrictive isolation placed on the body when an individual deals with chronic pain. I utilize the copper yarn as a reference to the nervous system: an aspect of my own chronic pain that can be debilitating. Here, the body has defined mobility, only capable of reaching where the textile allows.
The materials chosen to create these objects are thoughtfully considered to reflect these ideas. I explore how a material references different layers of the body, what properties the material has, how it can be manipulated, and what impact it will have on the body as it is transformed into a garment or panel construction. The techniques and materials I choose are familiar to us through our understanding of apparel and the function of specific textiles. I utilize that familiarity to engage with the viewer and encourage them to question what those garments could mean.
Both the textiles that exist on the body and the panels hanging from the ceiling consider what it is like when you are forced into an awareness of your own body. Sometimes that is through pain or injury, but that awareness can also come from places of confidence and self-consciousness. I encourage the viewer to approach the work and consider what awareness they have when standing in front of the large and overpowering panels or imagining the comfort/discomfort of wearing the garments.