Brooks Harris Stevens is a fiber artist who is an associate professor of Fibers at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Her formal training began at the Savannah College of Art and Design and continued with graduate work at the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University in North Carolina.
Creating diverse works with fiber and mixed media sensibilities has always been a constant and fulfilling part of her life. Through material studies she creates intriguing surfaces that transform a variety of spaces. These activated spaces inform the viewer about the materials, space, form and underlying concept. Brooks creates installations and three-dimensional fiber based work with inter-disciplinary approaches that challenge the fiber medium.
Brooks’ current research focuses on various cultural observations of rituals. She is currently developing Adaptive Rituals, a new body of work that focuses on blending her studio practices with various cultural rituals. She has exhibited work in both solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally.
Working as an inter-disciplinary artist I escape in the creation of work that is deeply rooted in the history of textiles. I seek to express my personal experiences and relationship with cloth using various materials and techniques that are associated within my human experience. These cultivated experiences help to inform every choice of material, each stitch, cut and fold when making work. Just as I am drawn to the touch of materials and their inherent qualities, I equally rely on personal experiences that ultimately unify concept with technique.
Over the past several years my work has shifted to focus on various cultural observations of rituals. As we live in world that is in a constant state of change, so are rituals as basic as making a cup of tea to elaborate ceremonies. I have come to observe these as adaptive rituals as old as the creation of textiles, leaving a rich history to find inspiration. The history and strong cultural associations with textiles from the beginning of life feeds my concepts. Through the repetitious act of making and re-making of objects during the creation of work is not an end but rather a place of discovery and understanding. During these discoveries I find a strong connection in my studio practice allowing a deeper understanding of rituals and their significance.