The Journey is the Inspiration: Patrick Ahern

Posted by on Jun 19, 2014 in Inspired by Dan

dan tapestry

I am a crocheter, knitter, and knot-tier and fiber is my media of choice in creating art. I grew up in Woodland Hills, CA where my mom taught me to crochet and knit during my last year in high school; I haven’t put it down since. Crocheting pictures came out of my frustration with making clothing and accessories. My work is not wearable, but it is fabric. It hangs and drapes just like fabric; it can pucker in places where too many stitches are placed and pull apart in the application of too few. I feel that this natural state of fibers enhances the realism of the art work. Also, crochet lends itself well to art because of its foundations in pattern. Crochet is boundless and it is a great medium for freeform, much like music. My favorite material is yarn; I need a hook to crochet, but I only need yarn for an idea. Yarn has many colors and textures that can be used to create images. Yarn made me love colors and its interactions with each other. Many effects can be achieved with different yarns – like paint, and stitches – like brush strokes. Wool is my choice fiber because of its richness in colors, its matte appearance, and its natural life. I love the way that yarn can be made into flat fabric but still have depth and shadow. It excites me to see the stitches without the image and the finished image without the stitches. I am inspired by the beauty of others and I make art that reflects the beauty which I see in people.

Daniel Eldon’s artwork has inspired me for years. In his short, but full life he expressed emotion, nature, and the written word more beautifully than I could imagine. The freedom and order of his collage work was the basis of the the image, “Dan”. His sublime photography and artistic frenzy were limitless sources of inspiration. I wanted to capture his life in one full image that would create a silhouette of an old man, a milestone that he was denied. The simple beauty of the crocheted motif, or granny square makes up the left side or beginning of the image. After completion, my brother, Ian, pointed out that Daniel’s hat made the horn of Africa. The outline of the continent on its side continued with along his hair and shoulder – all by chance. I tried to use bright colors as I see in his life and art. The phrase “long live the written word” was a small part on a page in his journal that resonated with me. I strive to inspire people with my art as much as Dan continues to inspire the world.

Patrick Ahern