The work of Mariana Piñar Castellano explores the relationship between text and textiles. “I started weaving with the idea of looking for similarities between composition of texts and construction of textiles,” says Piñar. In her artist statement, she notes that both text and textile have the same Latin root, texere, meaning weaving or entwining. She weaves written words drawn from her own personal thoughts, experiences, and everyday life. Piñar has also “written” with other techniques including dyeing, digital jacquard, and embroidery. “Tapestry weaving, as opposed to techniques such as dyeing and embroidery, allows me to create a neat change of color, separating background from writing. I can construct text and background (context) at the very same time,” says Piñar regarding her use of tapestry.
When asked where she sees her work fitting into the larger history of tapestry, Piñar replies, “My goal is to create highly-skilled textile work with a message and aesthetic that fits into the contemporary art world,” a challenge that many emerging artists working with fiber feel a need to confront head on. The contemporary art world subscribes to the divide between art and craft, with tapestry relegated to craft. However, in this moment we can see this trend beginning to shift. Piñar is optimistic, “I am still learning every day, I don’t know how my work is going to look in one year, or five to ten years. I just hope to still be excited about working on my loom and having the time it demands.”