Caitlin McCormack, Paradigm Gallery + Studio

Nobody Gives A Shit, Caitlin McCormack, photo by @thatchinesekid

String Theory

Caitlin McCormack at Paradigm Gallery + Studio

See You All in There

by DoN

Cotton string is a common material found in most homes; string is a flexible structure made from fibers twisted from multiple strands which are then twisted together into a multi-functional tool. Invented about 30,000 years ago, string is used to tie, bind, hang, gather and hold objects in place; we interact with string when we tie our shoes, strum musical instruments, and shoot weapons. Even DNA is twisted strands forming the foundation of being alive in a strange universe; string theory is a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings. In essence, we are all made of strings.

Cotton has been used to make string, then textiles, as far back in time as we can imagine; cotton textiles became a desirable fabric during the Renaissance when it was imported from the Far East to Europe. The ability to represent textiles in art became essential to commerce and power, artists became an important resource for the church and aristocracy to convey the qualities and desirability of fine fabrics; in the 14th century the painter Robert Campin was able to represent textiles so realistically that his technique of modeling light, form, and shape of textiles influences artists to the present day.

Contemporary artist Caitlin McCormack uses this common element of daily life to communicate existential information about life and death. Using crochet, weaving, and sewing, the artist strings together ideas like beads of information that connects to concepts related to our very being. Imaginary skeletons, lively creatures, creepy forms, and wordy 3D compositions carry deep thoughts about the structure of nature, time, and memory. Like the lacemakers of old, McCormack toils in her studio creating forms enveloping space and time into whimsical yet frightening sculptural works of art, sometimes working the crochet hook until her fingers bleed.

Stringing sentences, mixing metaphors, and mashing social anxieties and dysfunction into emotional constructs of the strangeness of existence, the artist connects the viewer to aspects of being alive that are difficult to express and comprehend. The handwork and simple materials are clearly evident in the forms created from her imagination; the concepts and social commentary wrap the mind in scratchy threads of consciousness, mindfulness, and thought like a heavy blanket of love and despair.

See You All in There, Caitlin McCormack at Paradigm Gallery + Studio, 746 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147, through April 13th, 2019.

Like DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook

Follow DoN on Twitter @DoNNieBeat58

DoN Brewer on Pinterest

@donniebeat on Instagram

More DoNArTNeWs at

Affiliate Marketing Disclosure Statement

Donate via safe and secure PayPal in the sidebar.

DoNArTNeWs celebrating eleven years reporting on Philadelphia art and artists.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Previous post:

Next post: