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2024 MFA EnglishM 01

Molly English (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill) is the recipient of a 2024 Master of Fine Arts Fellowship in Painting & Sculpture.

Part bestiary, part blood ritual, the work of Molly English invites viewers into an allegorical world of more-than-human beings. Her large, tufted tapestries reimagine the grand narratives of the Western tradition, engaging characters that are not herculean saviors or warriors, but women, animals, and faeries—all hybrid versions of the artist herself—in fantastic epics of bloody transformation. Included throughout are references to English’s personal history with Irish Catholicism, Anarchism, Feminism, and Animism, entangling her mythologies with the perceived necessity and fallibility of these liberatory belief systems. Through all of this, she investigates intersections between belief, agency, and the ways in which bodies have been categorized and controlled.

English rejects the traditional flattening warp and weft of the loom, and embraces the wild textures of the ignoble tufting gun. Plush, dimensional, tactile, and evocative, tufted tapestry welcomes the viewer into the story, inviting them to navigate it through their connection to the tactile material. Like a secret shared through tender contact, English’s work guides viewers through an exploration of faith and fiber—and the ways in which it holds together and falls apart.