Through seismic stratigraphy, we are able to render images of cross-sections of the earth. By visualizing certain algorithms, we can create believable fictional landscapes. “Compressed Reflections” collects stratified, constructed, extrapolated, and deconstructed landscapes that are mediated by the grid of the handwoven textile. Drawing from seismic stratigraphy used in oil prospecting, algorithmically-derived virtual landscapes, and elemental geometries used to process these data, Heather expands on the capacity of weaving technology and of cloth itself.
Heather MacKenzie is an artist, writer, and educator currently living in Richmond, Virginia as the Fountainhead Fellow in Craft and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. In her work, Heather looks to the textile as a foundational piece of human technology that is sensual and material while simultaneously embedded with complex mathematical information. In two- and three-dimensional work, as well as performance, she examines other, equally foundational systems that span the material world and the abstract one: platonic mathematics, Euclidean geometry, and standardized measurement. For the academic year of 2014-15, Heather was a Fulbright Fellow in Paris, France, where she produced work and had a solo installation as artist-in-residence at l’École des Arts Décoratifs. She has studied traditional textiles in Ecuador, Ghana, India, Zimbabwe, as well as in Europe, and she has exhibited work recently at venues including the Mission Gallery and Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, and PointDom in Toulouse, France. Heather received her BA from Brown University and her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.