7dl Basket #976, Dona Look, white birch bark with silk thread, 11.5” x 12.5” x 12.5”, 1997, Sold
4dl Basket #975, Dona Look, white birch bark, waxed silk thread, sewn & partially wrapped, 13" x 10.75" x 10.75", 1997, Sold
7dl Basket #976, Detail, Dona Look, white birch bark with silk thread, 11.5” x 12.5” x 12.5”, 1997, Sold
Selected collections and exhibition venues:
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York (One of a Kind: The Studio Art Movement; permanent collection); Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. (High Fibers; permanent collection); the White House Collection, Washington, D.C. (permanent collection); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania (permanent collection); Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut (permanent collection); Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York (permanent collection); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas (permanent collection); Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin (permanent collection); Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Charlotte, North Carolina (permanent collection); Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock (permanent collection); Waterloo Art Museum, Iowa; Erie Art Museum, Pennsylvania (The New American Basket; permanent collection); Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Letters, Madison (solo exhibition); American Craft Museum, New York, New York (Interlacing; Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical; Tactile Vessel); Palo Alto Cultural Center, California (Nature RE-BOUND; Tapestry to Vessel); Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Dorothy Gill Barnes & Dona Look: Beyond the Trees); Chicago Cultural Center, Illinois (Material Difference: Soft Sculpture and Wall Works); Barbican Centre, London, England (Threads: Contemporary American Basketry); Danish Museum of Decorative Art, Copenhagen, Denmark (Celebrating American Craft). Recipient: Fellowship, Windgate Foundation; Fellowships, National Endowment of the Arts; Design Award, American Craft Museum.
Collection and preparation of materials is essential to my work. I choose to work with white birch bark because its unique physical characteristics make it suitable for both weaving and sewing. The process of searching the forest for large, healthy trees that will soon be logged inspires and guides me in understanding the appropriate use of bark from each tree. The diameter of each tree and the bark’s thickness, markings and flexibility are of utmost importance to my work. The body of each piece is often made of bark from one tree. Each of my pieces is part of a continuous learning process where techniques, forms and use of materials have evolved. Working on several pieces at once allows me the opportunity to reflect and critique what changes in pattern, texture and form might be considered in the pieces to follow. Consequently, it’s easier for me now to intuit the appropriate use of different sheets of bark and their construction generally.