Weaving a Beautiful Tale with Textiles

Diedrick Brackens ('11) works on his loom. (Photo by Sofia V. Gonzalez)Diedrick Brackens ('11) wanted to reflect the amalgamation of all of his roots, so his artwork combines the quilts of the South, weavings from West Africa and the tapestries of Europe. His textiles have won recognition from The Huffington Post, which named him one of the Top 17 Visual Artists You Should Know in 2016.

"I wanted to make an object that carried recognizable markers of all of these cultures," says Brackens, who is an assistant professor and head of the fiber program at California State University Long Beach. "Textiles are one of the ways people communicate heritage or allegiance."

When Brackens began weaving at a class at UNT in the summer of 2008, he knew he would be at the loom for life. He credits College of Visual Arts and Design fibers professors Amie Adelman and Lesli Robertson ('06 M.F.A.) for teaching him invaluable technical skills and providing opportunities to engage with the local and national art community.

This untitled 88”x 82” weaving is made out of hand woven fabric, cotton dyed with teas and commercial dyes, and nylon yarns."I want viewers to be dazzled at the evidence of my hand in the manipulation of materials," he says. "I want them to feel a sense of familiarity in the strangeness of the hybrid textiles I produce. I hope that they read some sort of narrative in the decorative aspects of the cloth."