Jessie Dunahoo's compelling, beautiful installations are vehicles for relating his personal history and fictional narratives, while also recalling their genesis as navigational tools. Composed of patchwork, multi-layered panels, he diligently hand-stitches culled materials (plastic grocery bags, twine, fabric remnants and samples) together by touch, constructing large-scale tapestries, shelter-like structures that respond to specific rooms, as well as outdoor environments. Dunahoo's complex oeuvre feels akin to the work of other contemporary fiber artists (such as Sheila Pepe and Sabrina Gschwandtner), but also reflects the rich tradition and utility of quilt-making in rural Kentucky.
Dunahoo, 82, has been maintaining a studio practice at Latitute Artist Community in Lexington, Kentucky since their founding 15 years ago. He has shown previously at Andrew Edlin Gallery (NYC) and extensively in the Lexington area, including Institute 193, a non-profit contemporary exhibition space.
From Institute 193:
"Jessie Dunahoo began his art career as a child, sewing bread bags the length of his family’s farmhouse near Beattyville, Kentucky. As a young man, Dunahoo began exploring the family farm by hanging intersecting strings, ropes and wires which could be grasped and threaded, on various fences and trees, thereby creating 3-d maps which he used to navigate outdoor space.
Jessie Dunahoo is deaf and blind. In time, Dunahoo’s environments have grown and evolved into complex sewn structures made of found materials including grocery bags, fabric samples, pieces of old clothing and twine. Through an interpreter, Jessie describes his works as shelters, and they are strung about his home and yard, covering his walls, floor and ceiling. " (see more)