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Grant Recipient

Monya Nikahd

Windgate-Lamar Fellowship


The loom, an ancient ancestor to the computer, attests to the progression of humankind. As a handweaver, I am intentionally focusing on the enduring existence of hand weaving while reimagining the process as a modern-day tool. As I weave intuitively, my intent is to reprogram this ancient craft into relevance in our digital society. My work is produced by weaving high thread counts with unconventional and thin materials to create cryptic code-like patterns and connective line-work. I weave with raw materials that transition into synthetic— signifying our own cultural shift towards digital proliferation. While I am weaving, I am conscious of which sections of the surface are conductive to digital enhancement. I weave instinctually, without prior planning, as the line itself leads me through my process and creates its own “logic.” The resulting work appears as a textile from an unknown time-period—holding qualities both ancient and futuristic. Over time, this dichotomy developed from feelings of grieving my early life in Iranian culture and my struggle to remain physically connected to it. Historically, textiles have preserved stories, just as the modern use of digital memory. Because of political turmoil and other complexities, the digital world has served as my connection to a culture currently out of my reach. Like my early life in Iranian culture, I want to preserve this ancient craft by applying digital aesthetics to its surfaces.

Bio of the Artist

Organization Background



Tennessee Technological University




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