A 2010 Virginia Commonwealth University MFA Craft (Fiber) alumna, Donnelly weaves by hand monumental-scale images of the human figure, inkblots, and manipulated forms she calls bodyblots. Donnelly’s laborious process involves dying her fibers and hand painting patterns and images on the warp (perpendicular threads) before weaving the cloth. Created through a complex yet highly spontaneous process of weaving, staining, unweaving, and reweaving, Donnelly’s figurative works explore cloth’s intimate and universal material relationship with the body. She employs cloth as a literal reference to the human figure, drawing on sensory memories and the intimate connections we all have to cloth in its many domestic forms. Donnelly’s mural sized weavings depict abstracted self-portraits, paradoxically presenting the figure on a medium traditionally used to conceal it.
Photography by David Hunter Hale and Shannon McGill