I rely on some simple methods of work that, to my mind, engage processes of connection and stabilization while using fragile and ephemeral materials. I shred road maps, book pages, graphic novels, magazines and catalogs and reweave them into large sheets of noisy paper that combine fractured and fragmented messages, a practice I have pursued for half a decade.
From these woven sheets I cut landscapes and solitary figures, as well as overlay chine collé line prints on tengucho, a thin translucent Japanese paper. Though I use rewoven paper in many ways, the layers of preprinted words, colors and fragmentary images in my Solitary Figures are intended to acknowledge all the things that make us up, affect our sense of selves, and drive our decisions.
Mike Sweeney’s M.F.A. (1990) from the University of Connecticut begat an interest in social engagement and bridges between visual and textual literacy. He has engaged dual careers in public libraries and schools as he pursued exhibition opportunities nationally. After training on the job in antique furniture restoration in 2015, Mike’s recombination and synthesis of common materials through craft technique has become more integral to his work.
His 2019 interview in LandEscape Now! 10th edition was bookended by duo and solo exhibitions at the Hartford Public Library ArtWalk and Pegasus Gallery at MXCC. In 2020 and 2021, Mike participated in exhibitions with the National Collage Society, Marblehead Arts Association, and New Grounds Remarque Print Workshop.