Rural | Urban Artist | II
“Moroccan Book of Hours” (detail), 2016-18
Moroccan newspaper, textile inks, printing, turmeric, powdered cobalt,
12” x 12” x 1” individual works, series of 29 together 5’ x 8’ x 1”
“The Moroccan Book of Hours” is a phenomenological journal, a new work for each day of February 2016. Arriving in Tetouan, struck by the beautiful Arabic script of the newspapers with news of the world that I could only surmise from photos, I moved within an impenetrable membrane, a sensation at the back side of words. I was in the infantile stage of language, inchoate sounds that moved through my ears and brain, simultaneous with sublime images of an ancient city. A deep pleasure requiring no language but which compelled my desire to learn was our food prepared by a Moroccan woman. I asked for the Moroccan names of food I ate each day and recorded it in the work. The English text was cut through the newspaper of that day yet rendered backwards so they read right to left in sympathy with the Arabic script. I layered this with textile printing techniques, and a stitched line of the imagined path I walked through the medina each day.
– Geraldine Craig
Geraldine Craig is an artist and writer whose research-based practice focuses on the intersections and relationships between textile history, theory or criticism, curatorial work, studio practice. Her response usually includes language.
Craig’s creative work includes social practice. As the founder of The Earl Project (2018) – a community arts program for veterans/ soldiers that promotes creativity through burn-out art workshops and contributions to a community cloth – she received an Artistic Innovations Grant by Mid-America Arts Alliance & National Endowment for the Arts (2018-19) and KSU 2018 University Small Research Grant. She also completed a thirty-feet long mixed media art commission for the University of Kansas Medical School- Salina with Nelson Smith (2018). She’s been selected as an International Artist-in-Residence for residencies in Thailand (2018) and Morocco (2016), and a Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs Individual Creative Artist Grant. Craig’s work has been exhibited across the United States, and in England, Mexico, Japan.
Craig’s writing is formed by modes of knowing as a maker, with primary research interests contemporary art and craft and Hmong textiles, generating knowledge of craft practices marginalized in Western art history canons. She was the 2012-2013 Dorothy Liesky Wampler Eminent Professor, James Madison University, and 2014 International Fellow-in-Residence, at the Women’s International Study Center, Acequia Madre House, Santa Fe, NM. She has presented at conferences throughout the United States, Italy, Brazil, Canada and Denmark. Craig has written a monograph on sculptor Joan Livingstone (Telos: London), and published over ninety book chapters, catalog essays, articles and reviews in Art in America, Hmong Studies Journal, The Journal of Modern Craft, Surface Design Journal, and Sculpture, among others.