Esther Traugot connects to the natural world by collecting and covering seed pods, eggs, severed tree trunks, and other natural objects in tightly-wrapped textile “skins.” She uses hand-dyed gold threads to crochet around these objects in order to temporarily mend what has previously been broken or abandoned. Through her work Traugot straddles the line of nurture and control, investigating her dual role as a member and observer of the natural landscape.
“The meticulous act of crocheting mimics the instinct to nurture and protect what is viable, what is becoming precious,” she explains in an artist statement. “As in gilding, these false ‘skins’ imbue the objects with an assumed desirability or value; the wrapping becomes an act of veneration. Although futile in its attempt at archiving and preservation, it suggests optimism.”
Traugot is interested in “contemporary naturalism,” or artwork that cares for the environment in our current global ecological state, and also views her work in conversation with Land and Environmental Art and Feminism. She received her BFA from the University of California Berkeley in 2005 and her MFA from Mills College in 2009.