Revisiting Folk Traditions

  • Wool, Mohair, Oil on Canvas
  • Haley Prochnow

MSP Terminal 1, Airport Mall North

Artist Statement:
Over the past year, I have learned the American Folk Art tradition of punch needle embroidery. “Punch” embroidery was commonly used by homemakers to make small, decorative rugs. In the spirit of thrift, women would use burlap feed bags, old wool coats, and hand-me-down textiles to create these rugs. In later years as the practice became more popular, punch rug kits were sold to entertain more affluent homemakers and become more of a craft than a necessity. My goal with this show is to combine folk traditions with contemporary art practice. To achieve this, I created a series of rugs of various sizes using punch needle embroidery. Through textiles, I integrate themes and images from my paintings into this traditional medium.

My paintings and textiles depict the complications and clutter of daily life and the emotional connections we make with objects, I seek to create a satirical body of work that highlights the conflicted relationships humans form with stuff. In particular, I want to explore how current trends encourage consumerism through the idea of owning the one “perfect” object — for example, possessing the ideal chair handcrafted by a Himalayan Sherpa, or the quintessential worsted wool sweater imported from Ireland and blessed with a relic from St. Germaine. The objects that we include in our lives as representations of ourselves are intrinsically valuable, and in a world of “mindful” corporations, Instagram influencers, and Pinterest tastemakers, we often – whether fully aware of it or not – let others place value on what we choose to collect and consume. I want to encourage others to have thoughtful engagement with their surroundings and to find freedom in the mess and color of daily life.

Haley Prochnow is a painter and textile artist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As you look at her work today, she hopes you are homesick. What is it about home that you miss? Do you miss your stuff? While you are missing home and looking at the artwork before you, recollect gifts from past holidays that you keep around just because you love the person who gave it to you, old clothes that don’t fit but hang in your closet religiously, and cherished heirlooms from family members here and gone. Don’t worry, it’s ok to be sentimental in an airport.

  • Subject Matter: Folk Art
  • Current Location: MSP Terminal 1, Airport Mall
  • Collections: Exhibitions (Past)

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