Curatorial Conversation with Textile Artist Aly Barohn

Aly Barohn Textile Artist

Curatorial Conversation with Textile Artist Aly Barohn

THE TRADITIONAL CRAFTS OF EMBROIDERY AND NEEDLEWORK used to be reserved for generations past, but there is a new breed of textile artist who takes the skills and ways of those who have gone before her and turns the patterns on their head, forging a new path in fiber art. One such artist is ALY BAROHN whose intricate embroidery works, comprising thousands of hand-knotted stitches of delicate ombre tones, take inspiration from personal exploration and escape. Aly’s hand-dyed yarns are worked into geometric shapes and organic forms that are at once contemporary and nostalgic. We talked to Aly about her practice, and photographer Lauren DeFilippo captured the artist in her Denver, Colorado, studio.

Where do you live? What is your favourite thing to do in your city?
I live in Denver, CO. I love how close the mountains are to the city. It gives me a chance to explore nature and break away from technology for a while.

Who or what inspires you?
I feel inspired when I people watch, as well as fashion, films and art from all eras.

Where do you go to find inspiration?
I find as much inspiration in large cities as I do in the country. Escaping to some place new is always a great way for me to get inspired.

Describe your studio in three words.
Home, cats, love.

What do you love about being an artist?
I love that my art is a reflection of who I am, which I can send out to the world without looking back.

What are its challenges?
Time and responsibilities. For some reason art sometimes seems less important than other daily tasks. At the same time, I recognise art as the most consistent and important things in my mind and life. I think society is playing tricks on me!

What do you hope people feel/think/see when they see you work?
Emotions and memories they haven’t thought about in a long time.

Describe your morning routine.
I like to wake up early and greet my cats, chickens and dog. If I wake up early enough, I have time to read for an hour and have some coffee. I am off to work by 9am. Pretty basic, I know. My art time is in the evenings.

What do you love doing in your downtime?
I love being around animals, cooking and watching movies.

Did you always want to be an artist?
I’ve always known I was creative, but I really only started considering myself an artist a few years ago.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you.
I lived in a cabin in the woods in Arkansas for 7 months. I took friends, lovers, animals and most responsibility out of my life during that time. It did wonders to my creativity.

What jobs have you done other than creating art?
My full-time job is running my online shop, VAUX, where we sell vintage and modern goods.

Favourite place on Earth and why?
Home. No matter where I live (it’s been many places) and who I’m with, I’ve made it a priority to have a comfortable home. It should be your favourite place, no?

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Take breaks throughout the day to pet a dog or a cat. It releases tension and a clogged conscious. Works for me!

Advice you’d like to pass along to new artists?
Create a space in your routine for art and don’t stray. If you make it habitual, creativity will come naturally. You will find yourself in less ruts.

Future dream project?
I hope to create something very large scale, something that could take years to complete.


Editor’s note: Since we photographed Aly in her Colorado studio she has since moved to historic Hyde Park in New York state. We’ll be sure to get an update from her new studio in the not-too-distant future.
All photography by Lauren DeFilippo
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