For distinguished guests, we like to roll out the red carpet. For textile artist Trish Andersen, it’s more fitting to roll out one of the intricately textured, multicolored, kaleidoscopic creations she’s famous for. Hailing from Dalton, Georgia, the so-called “carpet capital of the world,” Andersen—armed with a tufting gun, which allows her to paint with yarn—creates enticingly plush pieces that tempt you to toss etiquette to the wind and touch the art.
Upon graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design, Andersen spent a decade working in Brooklyn, where she ran a studio that fabricated custom environments for events and photoshoots. In search of a change of pace and a more authentic version of herself, she landed back in Savannah, Georgia, shifting away from commercial work in order to develop her personal artistic practice and reconnect with her roots. Enter the tufting gun.
When creating, Andersen reaches for fibers gathered from flora, fauna, and the factory floor to strike her unique balance between ordered and anarchic, vibrant and muted. Energized by color, her palettes are born out of spontaneity, while her intertwining designs are often planned using programs like Procreate. By playing with pile heights and cutting techniques, Andersen brings her splashy aesthetic to everything from large-scale wall art to sculptures and installations, and even directly into your home with her signature rugs and shag mats.
You can check out their latest projects on Creatively here.
What is the first creative project you remember?
I was diagnosed with Leukemia when I was two years old. My first memory of making/creating was at the clinic. It’s no wonder why I still create to heal and process the world around me!
Describe your aesthetic in three words.
Colorful, textured, soft.
What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?
There have been many, but I would have to say a large scale piece I did for the lobby of the Peeples Cancer Institute. It was very cool to be able to create something that could help people go through something I too have experienced.
Another would be my rug collaboration with Shaw Contract rugs; after all, I grew up in the carpet capital of the world. No matter where I was in the country, whenever I’d see a Shaw carpet truck driving down the highway it would remind me of home. I had no clue my life would circle back to a focus on yarn and carpet making. It was a real honor to get to work with this incredible company.
What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?
I was commissioned to create a piece for the launch of Coca-Cola’s new flavor, Georgia Peach. They were looking to commission an artist from Georgia, and that’s where I grew up. When I received the call, I was actually driving down the highway in a box truck, moving my studio from NYC to Georgia. Only moments prior to the call, I was thinking about how crazy I was for making such a move. It was the sign I needed and reminded me to trust my gut and trust the process.
Do you think creativity is something you’re born with, or something you’re taught?
I think everyone is creative. I see creativity as problem solving, and that can be done in so many different ways.
What’s the last dream you had?
I’m constantly having dreams where I discover there’s a whole new wing of my house or studio. I’m always so excited in the dream, but a little defeated when I wake up.
One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?
Ha! I’d be shocked if they are still talking about it. But I guess, “looks like she had fun!”
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