Carlyn Clark is textile artist/designer, based in Southern California, who produces fabrications by hand using harvested and foraged natural dyes layered with painting, printing, stitching and fabric manipulation. She uses the fabrics to create artworks and decorative items for the home.
She has over 40 years of experience in the fashion and interiors industries starting with her first fashion brand, Choosey Beggar, in 1980. From 1988-1994 she devoted her time to furthering children’s art education, serving as the Executive Director of the Westside Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA. She maintained her art practice by painting children’s furniture, which grew into a business, Knobelties™. She sold the business in 2009 to move to Shanghai, China as a trailing spouse. Returning to the US in 2012 she rediscovered the joy of making, focusing on dyeing, printmaking, painting, hand-stitching and mixed media, furthering her knowledge with intensive workshops with master dyers, Aboubakar Fofana, Michel Garcia and John Marshall. In 2018 she joined the Hana Kark Art Collective.
Carlyn Clark creates mixed media art with a strong engagement around textiles. While exploring the variances and inconsistencies between the realms of memory and experience, Clark tries to increase the dynamic between audience and artist by objectifying emotions and investigating the plurality that develops through shifting interpretations.
Using scavenged, repurposed and transformed materials with traditional and historic processes, her mixed media artworks can be viewed as a celebration of usage, embracing the tactile nature of unevenness, irregularity and decay to inspire explorations of memory and projection. By probing the uncertainty of origination via modifications and mutations, she absorbs the historic traditions of remembrance art, traditional dye processes and stitchery customs into her daily practice. By questioning the disparities between the realms of memory and experience, she describes personal events and moments by means of additions and omissions and acknowledgement and disavowal, drawing the viewer in as a participant in the experience.