My most recent series of fiber sculptures integrates a profound appreciation for the trans-generational legacy of craft in my family with an ongoing account of my experiences with mental illness, abuse, and assault, resulting in an intimate archive of emotional vessels. With the addition of vintage fabrics and found materials, these works belong to a taxonomy of creatures and objects emblematic of my memories. The subjects of my work typically assume the form of skeletal or husk-like avatars in conversation with the flora of the forest floor. I produce these delicate sculptures in order to explore themes such as isolation, societal reluctance to view gendered craft as art, and my personal navigation of trauma, as well as my relationship with nature. I wish to give the impression that a garment has disintegrated and reformed itself, warped by the passing of time, in the image of a tenacious creature's remains crawling in vines, to reflect upon the persistence of memory and the relationship between cloth and living, organic forms.
My work primarily involves crocheted cotton thread, which is dredged in a mixture of non-toxic glues, natural dyes, and foraged pigments, and fashioned into sculptural forms. The works, rendered by way of a meticulous, self-taught process, are stiffened and positioned to resemble animal and humanoid specimens, as well as structures in various states of decay, mingling with rhizospheric debris and half-forgotten nostalgic murmurs. The cotton string central to this process is typically sourced from estate and garage sales, as well as collections inherited from my deceased family members, who used it during the Great Depression to create delicate adornments for their homes and bodies. My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was a kindergartener and the practice is deeply entwined with my lifelong compulsion to produce hand-wrought objects in response to the world around me.
Caitlin McCormack (b. 1988, Plainfield NJ) is a Philadelphia-based fiber artist, sculptor, and art educator. Born and raised in rural New Jersey, her formative experiences of time spent alone in the woods collecting various fungi and osteological specimens, as well as hunting
for plants to use in dye experiments, are resonant in her practice to this day. Her crocheted cotton thread sculptures, informed by these childhood curiosities, are dredged in glues and foraged pigments and are shaped into a variety of forms. McCormack received a BFA from
The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2010, and has studied under master ceramicist Marguerita Hagan since 2019.
McCormack’s works have been displayed across the US and internationally in solo and group exhibitions at The Mütter Museum, The Taubman Museum of Art, Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, Museum Rijswijk, Rhodes Contemporary, Hashimoto Contemporary, The Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and SPRING/BREAK Art Show in
NYC. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Juxtapoz, Hyperallergic, Smithsonian, The Guardian, Fiber Art Now, and Bust Magazine. In addition, her sculptures were the subject of an interview with Jim Cotter for Articulate on PBS. McCormack has held teaching positions at Hussian College of Art and Design and The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, both of which are located in Philadelphia. She was the recipient of a Joseph Robert Foundation grant in 2021.