Bowers & Embroideries
by Terry Boyd
Through abstraction and minimalist fiber art, Boyd explores and interrogates systems of visual language. With drawings, sewn linen and machinelike abstractions, Boyd strives to create pieces that continue to reveal our fascination with the void.
In a systematic fashion, he draws or sews quarter-inch lines from left to right overlapping row by row to create a visual “white-noise” that takes the audience to an apophenic place (the experience of seeing patterns and connections in meaningless data/shapes). For Boyd the repetitive nature of the art-making process triggers a meditative state. Removing the referent to the external world, these sewn abstractions guide the viewer back to the repetition and elegance of the line, and invite the viewer to look inward for meaning. This inward gaze is meant to connect audiences to lost memories and forgotten dreams, by allowing an access point to the unconsciousness. The mantra-like aesthetic of the densely sewn lines reveals the tension between the patterns we imagine and those that exist in mathematical truths — memories are unearthed as the past begins to interrupt reality.
His current body of work explores the language of abstraction and the failures in translating ideas from man to machine. The delicate hand-drawn line works are digitized and run through a custom image compression program, pixilating it beyond recognition. The image is then sent through an embroidery formatting software that attempts to translate the simple digital file into a complex, thread-based object. The results are beautiful, impromptu abstractions that are systematically made by a logic-based machine. Boyd is trying to teach his sewing machine to think and react like an abstract expressionist painter.
Terry Boyd was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1986. His early start as an artist began with lessons through the Carnegie Mellon Pre-Colege Art Program and the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts. These programs helped him earn the Andrew Carnegie Scholarship at Carnegie Mellon University where he received his BFA. At CMU, he was able to earn a triple-focus in Painting/Drawing, Contextual Practice, and Electronic Time-Based Media. While attending, he also won In 2008, he was awarded an artist assistantship through the Carnegie Museum of Art for their International Exhibition, having him work and learning next to Kai Althoff, Thomas Hirschhorn and Barry McGee. Boyd later went on to earn a Master's in Arts Management from CMU's John H. Heinz III College. Boyd currently lives in Pittsburgh where he was recently nominated for Pittsburgh's Emerging Artist of the Year Award both in 2013 & 2014. His studio is based out of Radiant Hall in Lawrenceville where he makes drawings and embroideries full-time while experimenting with large-scale sewing installations using his bow & yarn tethered arrows as an unconventional and masculinized needle and thread.