Dee Clements (b. 1980) is an artist based in Chicago. She has a deep love of and interest in craft and ethnography. She holds an MFA in 3D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art and BFA in Fiber/Materials Studies and Sculpture from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.
“Craft reveals rich connections between people, materials, objects and culture. I am endlessly interested in the ethnography of objects, feminism and the origins of patriarchy. These are social lenses that drive my practice. The lineage of weaving is one that every culture in the world has a relationship with. It is undeniably one of the most ubiquitous crafts known worldwide. The first interlacements of fibers date back to 34,000 years ago, used as vessel like-structures to hold foraged food. Weaving is a coded language of ingenuity, tactility, utility. It is a craft that defines the human impetus to innovate and create.”
“I use basketry to combine all the elements of my 25-year practice; painting, sculpture, ceramics, furniture making and weaving to create three-dimensional forms that reference female bodies and experiences. I work with materials like reed, cane, clay, rope, and wood to create corporeal-like vessels that are bulbous or oblong, droopy, saggy, leaning, bent, have folds, rolls, and lumps. I dye and paint the pieces intuitively and improvisationally in often bold and vibrant color combinations to highlight or exaggerate parts of the forms.”