Erin C. Doherty is an interdisciplinary artist and teaching artist who draws inspiration from their hometown, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA with its culturally diverse and rich traditions in costuming and gastronomy.

She create pieces that explore the idea of a world that is constantly spinning, swirling, and stewing, where our performative identities mix, hide, highlight, and are lost. By examining contemporary craft in the context of a post-colonial and neoliberal present, she strives to emphasize the contrast between the handmade and the machine-generated. Doherty's work utilizes cycles of consumption, production, decay, and decadence to question every performativity. Drawing on the complexity and diversity of cities she inhabit, her works use a range of found and second-hand materials to create dense and playful fiber works.

Growing up in a multicultural environment, Doherty had to navigate conflicting expectations surrounding racial identity and cultural background. This experience has greatly influenced the way she present herself in the world, leading to a lifelong attempt to reconcile the disjuncture between her racialized body and everyday behaviors. Through the excavation of my her life experiences, Doherty aims to collage fragments of identity to construct a liminal identity from a patchwork of signifiers, never permanently inhabiting any one place, but existing in an often blissfully transitory space of shifting faces.

Cat Fetish Mask Study United States of America Watercolor on paper 2021

Carnevale di Venezia Mask Study Italy Watercolor on paper 2021

Carnevale di Venezia Mask Study Italy Watercolor on paper 2021

Kwifibe Mask Study Songye peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo Watercolor on paper 2021

"Packaging like the mask is the alluring protective layer, a talisman of protection of liminal identity. My research aims to explore the relationship between accumulation and purging, production and consumption, performative tendencies, and the pursuit of meaning, asking the question: How do our repetitive behaviors and performative tendencies shape our understanding of self, community, and belonging in a society defined by late capitalism and its implications?" - Erin C. Doherty, Decay Decadence and Trauma, 2023

Anthropomorphic Mask Study Pacific Northwest Indigenous peoples on the continent of North America 19th- 20th century Watercolor on paper 2021

Hanuman Mask Study Java, Indonesia Watercolor on paper 2021

Deer Mask Study Mongolia 19th- 20th century Watercolor on paper 2021

Mardi Gras Mask Study New Orleans in the United States of America Watercolor on paper 2021

Hanuman Mask Study Java, Indonesia Watercolor on paper 2021

Noh Mask Study Japan, after Motohiko Odani: malformed Noh mask series Watercolor on paper 2021

Maneki Neko (#1, #2, #3) 2023 Fiber porcelain beads, found and second-hand fabrics, bedsheets, lace, clothing, packaging, plastic beads, glass beads, embroidery thread, reclaimed metal The lucky cat is a pervasive symbol of Asian establishments worldwide. It is a lucky talisman to bring customers and good fortune. With the right arm forever raised, the wearer is stuck in a state of desire. Luck is tied to fortune in this talisman and the never ending desire to lure money to the wearer. Maneki Neko cats function as talismans of good fortune, but are also co-opted into the cycle of neoliberal greed (buy a talisman to bring more fortune). This is mirrored in contemporary craft as the use of craft in rebellion is inherently flawed as it still functions within the capitalist system.

Maneki Neko #2 (back)

Asian Lucky Cat Mask constructed out of found textiles, ceramics, and packaging.

Maneki Neko #2

The metal stands are constructed from scrap metal to mirror the found materials in the fiber masks.

"I lean into indulgences and traumas of second-generation mixed Asian-American identity anxiety, environmental fatigue, and disillusionment of the American dream to create pieces that do not fit into a single identity, but pull from a multitude of histories. Handcraft is employed as a medium and a theoretical basis as it can be seen as directly pitted against the engines of industry whilst paradoxically still working within the free-market system. In other words, craft is trapped in the engine of the current economic system, gobbled up by the machine and shit out in less technically proficient copies. " - Erin C. Doherty, Graduation Research Hub Presentation, 2023


Adrift, A Shift

June 29th - July 6th

Willem Twee Kunstruimte
Boschdijkstraat 100, 5211 VD 's-Hertogenbosch