Haya Cohen is an arts practitioner whose practice-led research is undertaken through a multi-disciplinary approach that includes creative arts practice, anthropology, biology, social sciences and philosophy. Presently, Haya is completing her PhD and is teaching at Griffith University. Her body of work ties notions of embodiment, communication and subjectivity to the processes of making fibres and textile. Making yarns and fabric become a methodology for both correlating academic research and producing experiential-based research that increase bodily possibility. Haya has exhibited across Australia and overseas. She has promoted contemporary art and community through her involvement in community art projects and performance.
As an arts practitioner and reflective artist, I understand how different arts forms provide various ways of reflecting on the relationship between body and environment. In the context of the World Dance Alliance Global Summit 2008, I feel that there is a strong overlap between the visual arts and dance through the importance of movement. The focus of my paper is on the ways in which the movements involved in the making – whether making textile, sculptures or painting – offer ways-of-knowing that are unique to each material process. I use my art project, Textiled Becomings, to explore the links between movement, performance (or performativity) and material processes. Within this project the embodied significance of textile art is amplified through the process of making ‘from scratch’ in which I use raw materials such as cotton and barley seeds, to make my own yarns. These raw materials become performative as they grow to become both the woven material and the provider of the seeds.