“Textile and skin are intimately connected. Physical proximity causes sweat and strength, dirt and fear, love and cologne to move from flesh to cloth indiscriminately. While cloth protects skin either can be cut or torn. Stitches are the means to aid healing and measure the intensity of the wound. But stitches pierce cloth and skin wounding again, in an effort to aid healing and minimize scarring. Scars in cloth and skin may reflect the aggression of the initial wound and/or the sensitivity of the person who repaired them.
These works begin when I cut a hole into the cloth. The hole is then filled by weaving with needle and thread. The repairs are made using traditional textile darning and mending techniques learned from studying European and American mending samplers. Whether the area of repair is immediately visible or camouflaged, mending these holes leaves a scar that speaks of vulnerability, intimacy, and futility.”
Mark Newport was born in Amsterdam, NY and attended the Kansas City Art Institute (BFA) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA). Newport’s work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including solo exhibitions at The Cranbrook Art Museum; The Arizona State University Art Museum; The Chicago Cultural Center; The Charleston Heights Art Center, Las Vegas; The Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia; and here gallery, Bristol, United Kingdom.
Recent awards include grants from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Creative Capital Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Newport’s work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Arizona State University Art Museum, the Cranbrook Art Museum, and The Detroit Institute of Arts. Newport is the Artist-in-Residence and Head of Fiber at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.