Mary Zicafoose

Artist Statement

Weaving is my medium, but creating decorative textile art is not my goal. Rather, it is my use of “Ikat,” the complex technique of resist dyeing and over-dyeing fibers that best defines my work. The term “Ikat” means to “bind” or “tie” in the Malaysian language. I create contemporary tapestry, pushing the boundary of this ancient art form, to investigate the intricacies of how we, as individuals, are tied to one another. The complexity and uncharted potential of warp and weft – combined with the alchemy of color compositions and archetypal symbols – represents the elaborate and intricate patterns of our lives and of my work. Each densely woven and intricately layered textile reflects the infinite and repetitive ways that cultures, rituals and collective memories bind us all together. By evolving and transforming timeless motifs and visual language into a contemporary (con)text, I seek to engage my viewers – as well as myself – in dialogues and discussions that reawaken our cultural memory and tie us all to one another.

Mary Zicafoose is an award-winning artist known for her Ikat inspired textiles. She is co-director of the American Tapestry Alliance and a board member of the University of Nebraska’s Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery and GoodWeave. International exhibitions include the 13th Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland and the collections of more than a dozen United States Embassies abroad. She lives, weaves and teaches from her home in Omaha, Nebraska.