Installation: Sometimes But Not Always

Installation: Sometimes But Not Always

Installation by Denja Harris

South Bay fiber artist communicates complex emotional states through the organic processes of free form yarn sculpture.

Denja Harris is an artist from South Bay, San Diego, specializing in experimental fiber art and soft sculptures. Intentionally sourcing second-hand and dead-stock yarn, she creates layered, free form abstract works that take shape in an organic process. Her art practice is a form of healing and exploring self identity, vulnerability, and softness through the relationships of color, pattern and texture. 

The artist explains, “My art practice allows me to explore my personal narrative and communicate what I struggle putting into words by recording a feeling through the relationships of color and texture. These pieces are deeply intertwined with the experience of confronting vulnerability and the act of self-protection. [Through my art, I am] exploring the tension between exposing soft spots and constructing emotional barriers.

Harris combines organic form and repetition by layering elements using different tufting methods and weights of fiber. In any piece, the artist may use anywhere between 5-20 different types and colors of yarn and build bit by bit as her intuition guides her. The tactile use of machine and manual tool alike keeps her “in [her] body”, finding the repetitive nature of the practice meditative and soothing. Harris uses this time to process all the feelings that make humans human—joy, fear, loss, and stagnation, to name a few. Sometimes But Not Always reflects not only on the complicated, fleeting feelings and beliefs that make us human, but also the willingness to face and release them.

Harris’ work has been featured in solo exhibitions, group shows, workshops, and demonstrations at San Diego City College, Mingei International Museum, Art Produce, Mortis Studio, and others.