GLASS | Beadwork
Penland Affiliation | Resident Artist 2008-2011, Penland Instructor 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2013
Artist Information | Studio artist; education: BA Western Washington University (WA); teaching: Penland School (NC), Urban Glass (NY), Haystack Mountain School of Craft (ME), Pilchuck School of Glass (WA), Arrowmont School of Craft (TN); collections: Corning Museum of Glass (NY), Museum of Fine Arts (MA), Tacoma Art Museum (WA)
Artist Bio | David Chatt is an artist, designer, beadworker, and maker of curiosities. A former Penland Resident Artist (2008 – 2011), his work has been collected by Corning Museum of Glass (NY), Museum of Art and Design (NY), Museum of Fine Arts (MA), Tacoma Arts Museum (WA), and the Racine Art Museum (WI). In 2007 the Bellevue Arts Museum honored him with a retrospective look at his career entitled Two Hands, Twenty Years, and a Billion Beads and in 2015 he was awarded a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship. Chatt is dedicated to sharing his knowledge through exhibiting, teaching, and lecturing both locally and internationally.
Artist Statement | I work with tiny glass beads, sewn one to the next, in unexpected ways by unexpected hands. I am a 52-year-old, 6’5”, white guy; not what comes to mind when one thinks of beadwork. A younger version of myself worried about the fact that I was inexplicably drawn to a medium so laden with cultural and gender-based bias. More truthfully, others worried and I worried that I should worry. I no longer do.
I pursue images that transform, say something true and that move me, the maker, forward in some way. My work tells of the odd world I inhabit. It is a place that is more interesting than it is comfortable. A perfect object is equal parts personal and universal, craftsmanship and concept.
In my latest work, I limit my use of color and use beads as a reductive medium rather than as embellishment. I am completely fascinated by the potential this offers. An object covered in a matrix of fine needlework and glass is now less that object, and more the place where that object once was. Like a memory held in time and space. Each bead and the thread that binds it is a mark and a reflection of a moment. The accumulation of these marks becomes a meditation. I feel that this work has brought me closer than ever to understanding the narrative potential of these materials.