When Candace Hill Montgomery touches her fingers to the threads — carefully, energetically, sporadically or messily woven through her handmade loom — her mind slows down.
But it does not quiet.
She has countless hours of weaving ahead — her most recent collection, “Hills & Valleys,” on view starting Friday, May 24, at the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum — each influenced by her wandering thoughts.
As she works, she considers racism, feminism and poverty, scenes of migrant children and refugees detained and stranded. She murmurs Shakespeare and scripture, ruminates on politics, hums opera and recalls fables.
They weave themselves into each of her pieces, joined by complex layers of life experience and fabricated stories, inviting her audience to dive into every fiber of every hanging, woven canvas — just as she does herself.
“I never know what the outcome of the piece is going to be until it’s done,” Montgomery said during a telephone interview from her home in Bridgehampton. “I start blind. I start weaving from the bottom up and then, all of a sudden, I’m like, ‘Oh, now I see where this is going.’ Because, really, my first concern is the set of colors. I’m still dealing like a painter.”
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