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WhoWhatWhy: Fiber

<Who><What><Why><In the world (1973 - 1988)><In the world (2015 - )><Bibliography>

Who

Tapestries in the local museum fascinated me as a child. Foreground and background merged into an ireal world where everything was present with equal force. At the same time that the perspective, objects, and landscapes seemed highly conventionalized, faces were those of specific individuals. However, in high school and the beginning years of college my creative interest was directed toward sound and writing. The tapestries floated along the edges.

The move into visual arts was largely the result of joining many others in the late 1960s and early 70s in the use of large quantities of hallucinogenic substances. Visual art seemed the most appropriate avenue for expressing these experiences.

Mooney at the loom

What

At the time I was hanging out with my girlfriend in the weaving studio of the local art school. I became a sort of general factotum, helping students set up their looms for projects, winding yarn and the like. This work triggered memories of those old tapestries and I found the direct, tactile, physical, and low-tech qualities of weaving highly attractive. This led to the purchase of a second hand tapestry loom and, eventually, to the development of skills needed to create pictorial works in fiber. From 1973 through 1988 I created a subtantial body of work using conventional and triaxial weaves.

Why

During these years there was a constant tension in the doing of the work, a pull back toward sound that eventually led me to give up fiber. Now, after more than two decades of working in a highly technical medium, I'm returning to fiber. This is partly due to severe hearing loss but is also a reaction to the ever more ubiquitous presence, and intrusion, of electronic devices that seem to push us into an ever tighter present and ever shorter attention spans. Events just happen. They have no context or history. We are so busy recording and communicating, if it can be called that, our experiences that we don't actually have the experience. Or, recording it becomes having it. Weaving is a way to step out of this insanity.

In the world (1973 - 1988)

Marietta Crafts National
Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, 1974, 1980

 
Weavers’ Guild of Pittsburgh, annual shows
[various locations], Pittsburgh, 1975 (Harrisville Design Award), 1976, 1979, 1981 (Best use of color), 1982, 1983, 1984 (“Brightest piece without metallic yarn”), 1985, 1986 (LeClerc Award), 1988

 
Warp Factor Nine. Invitational exhibit
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Center Branch, 1976

 
Tapestries: Two person show with Maxine Heller
Undercroft Gallery, Pittsburgh, 1978

 
Beaux Arts Designer/Craftsman
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, 1979

 
Tapestries II: Two person show with Maxine Heller
Unicorn Gallery, Towson, Maryland, 1979

 
Three Rivers Arts Festival
Pittsburgh, 1980, 1981, 1982 (Honorable Mention), 1984, 1986 (Connections: Works in Fiber)

 
Objects
Exhibit at The Store sponsored by the Carnegie Institute of Art, 1979, tour 1979-1980

 
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Small Show
[various locations], 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985

 
Mannings Annual Handweaver’s Show
Mannings Handweaving School, East Berlin, Pennsylvania, 1980, 1981, 1982 (2nd prize, fiber manipulation category)

 
Tapestries III: Two person show with Maxine Heller
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, Richmond, Virginia, 1982

 
Tapestry and Triaxial Weaving: Two person show with Maxine Heller
H. M. Neal Gallery, Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, 1982

 
Celebration of American Crafts
Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, Connecticut, 1983

 
The Figure: New Form/New Function
Arrowmont Gallery, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 1983

 
Museum Show. Associated Artists of Pittsburgh
Carnegie Institute of Art, 1983, 1985

 
People
Oxford Center, Pittsburgh, 1984

 
Fabric/Wood
Bird in the Hand Gallery, Sewickly, Pennsylvania, 1985

 
Artists’ Response to Technology
Carnegie Mellon Institute Gallery, Pittsburgh, 1985

 
Works in Fiber: Two person show with Maxine Heller
Velar Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 1985

 
Fiber National
Adams Memorial Gallery, Dunkirk, New York, 1985, 1986, 1987

 
Triaxially Braided Works. One person show
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Gallery, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 1986

 
Pittsburgh Society Regional
Pittsburgh Society of Artists, Studio Z, Pittsburgh, 1987

 
Wholly Matrimony. Invitational exhibit for married couples in the arts
Johnstown Art Museum, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1987

 
Wichita National
Wichita Art Association, Wichita, Kansas, 1987

 
Contemporary Crafts Exhibition
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, 1988

 

In the world (2015 - )

Kaleidoscope (Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh)
Spinning Plate Gallery, Pittsburgh, November 5 - 28, 2015

 
Pop des Fleurs at the Hermann Museum
John A. Hermann, Jr. Memeroial Art Museum, Bellevue, PA, March 4 - April 28, 2016

 
Threads: A Sampling of Fiber Arts
Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, Dowell, MD, March 18 - July 24, 2016

 
Awakening (Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh)
The Artsmiths, Mt. Lebanon, PA, March 5 - April 1, 2017

 
2017 Kate Derum Award Finalist Exhibit
Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne, Australia, August 8 - September 29, 2017

 
Blue (Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh Member Show)
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA, August 11 - October 29, 2017

 
Small Tapestry International 5: Crossroads (American Tapestry Alliance)
Gallery on the Square, University of North Texas, Denton Texas, August 17 - September 30, 2017; Handforth Gallery, Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma, WA, November 15 - December 30, 2017

 

Bibliography

"Color Transitions in Triaxial Weaving." Fiberarts. 15:2 (1988), 16.

 
"David Mooney’s New Portraits Utilize his Pioneering Triaxial Weave to Create Effective
Shading." Fiberarts. 15:2 (1988), 17.

 
Fiberarts Design Book. New York: Hastings House Publishers, 1980: 43.

 
Goodman, Deborah Lerme. "Pictorial Tapestry: A Portfolio of Contemporary Work."
Fiberarts. 10 (May/June, 1983), 29-35.

 
_____. "The Triaxial Weaving of David Mooney." Fiberarts. 13 (May/June, 1986), 34-37.

 
Hutchins, Jean, ed. The Fiberarts Design Book II. Asheville, NC: Lark Books, 1983: 24,
42.

 
Mooney, David R. "Braiding Triaxial Weaves: Enhancements and Design for Artworks."
Ars Textrina. 5 (June, 1986), 9-31.

 
_____. "Handweaving Triaxial Weaves with Braiding Techniques." Ars Textrina. 3 (Fall,
1984), 99-124.

 
_____. "Triaxial Weaves and Weaving: An Exploration for for Handweavers." Ars
Textrina. 2 (Spring, 1984), 9-68.

 
"Triaxial Weaving." Handwoven. 10 (Nov/Dec, 1989): 58-60.

 
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