Tobiah Mundt captures and encases her own fears and anxieties in sculpted form by exploring different methods of textile art. She combines sculpted wool with macramé and weaving techniques and incorporates unconventional objects such as local found quartz and smoke.
In early 2006, Tobiah’s mom was diagnosed with cancer. The same day she found out, she quit her job as an architect at a Design-Build firm in the Washington DC area and moved to Houston to help care for her. She quickly realized that she was not built to sit in waiting rooms and hospitals with nothing to do with her hands. She looked online for a fox pattern that she could hand sew during all the waiting. She found a picture of a needle felted fox and was so taken by the beauty of the wool and the description of the process that she ordered pounds of wool and a bunch of needles and began sculpting.
She made a fox first…then she made creatures: big and small, angry and stressed, happy and sad. Lonely creatures. A few months after she started sculpting, she took a trip back to DC for a few weeks. When she came home and walked into her studio space, she realized what is obvious now, that she was putting her emotions into her creatures. The wool took over her life and here she is, nine years later, still sculpting.
Her needle felted sculptures have been poked tens of thousands of times, compacting the wool into its final form. She’s find that this meticulous repetitious process informs her work, allowing her to enter an almost “hypnotic state” where she can tap into my her emotions and of those around her. It is always the case that after hours of poking wool, her work has evolved into shapes and stories she hadn’t initially envisioned. These creatures, made from raw wool combined with natural and manmade objects, convey and illicit emotion in frozen moments of change and evolution.
Tobiah’s received Bachelor of Architecture in 2000 from Howard University. She has exhibited her artwork nationally, including “Being”, a solo exhibit at Lawndale Art Center (Houston, TX), and in group exhibitions, “Plush you LA!” at Munky King (Los Angeles, CA), “Plush you!” at Schmancy Gallery (Seattle, WA), and“Mortal Plush: I am not your Toy” at Whino Gallery (National Harbor, MD). Tobiah sells her work on Etsy and keeps an archive of her work online. Tobiah Mundt was the New City Artist in Residence from March 2016 – July 2016.
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