ANDREANA DONAHUE / july 2018
Andreana Donahue is a multimedia installation artist, writer, and artist advocate currently based in Chicago. Her project-based practice spans sculpture, painting, fiber arts, and diverse concepts, yet reflects an enduring relationship with the transformation of found materials through labor-intensive processes. She has organized and exhibited in group and solo exhibitions internationally. Previous residencies include The Icelandic Textile Center, SIM in Reykjavik, Wagon Station Encampment at A-Z West in Joshua Tree, 100 West Corsicana in Texas, and the Vermont Studio Center. In addition to her studio practice, Donahue is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary endeavor Disparate Minds; since 2014, ongoing advocacy efforts have included curatorial projects, exhibition reviews, essays, interviews, and lectures dedicated to the work and creative processes of marginalized contemporary artists with developmental disabilities.
WORKSHOPS WITH ENVISION UNLIMITED
Andreana organized a collaborative project incorporating prominent elements of abstraction that appear in quilting, specifically the improvisational compositions, unconventional pattern mixing, and vibrant color combinations typical of Gee’s Bend quilts. Participants created individual paper collages of their own devising, which were ultimately arranged together into one large-scale quilt collage as a group. This project accommodated various interests through a flexible format - inventing patterns through drawing, cutting of found pattern imagery and the drawings into irregular shapes, and collage, while also allowing the process to include contributions relevant to particular Envision artists, such as representational drawings and three-dimensional paper flowers.
During her W.A.R.P. residency, Andreana continued work on a reinterpretation of the traditional Amish Center Diamond quilt pattern through mixing numerous floral textiles - piecing, quilting, and embellishing entirely by hand. This quilt is part of an ongoing series informed by a deep engagement with abstraction, drawing connections between outwardly unrelated narratives, the history of quilting, and a re-imagining of its utilitarian traditions. Populated with imagery of flowers, bees, and coral, these works anticipate a future in which they have ceased to exist.