The magnetism of power lines has long been artist, textile and rug designer Randy Twaddle’s muse, proving that even the most utilitarian of objects are exquisite in the right context. Enthralled by the electric energy provider’s stark, industrial nature, the linear silhouettes run rampant throughout Twaddle’s work, from charcoal and coffee-and-ink drawings to hand-knotted Persian rugs. “I’m interested in things that are overlooked, and in finding the beauty that exists within,” says the Houston-based artist. “In that sense I consider myself more of an editor than a creator.” Twaddle’s inability to find carpeting for his own home led to a serendipitous commission from local dealer Carol Piper Rugs, which helped bring into fruition full-fledged textile and rug collections. Combining both the fluidity of fine art with the calculated precision of geometry, Twaddle’s Transformer images bring a fresh perspective to an often unnoticed entity. “I am amazed at how unintentionally lyrical and exquisite linear configurations can be,” says Twaddle. “I find those things and reframe them in a way that gets people to pay attention.”
LX: Why coffee?
RT: I spilled some on a sketchbook one day and found the result really appealing, so I started to incorporate it into my work in a more controlled way.
RT: Hospitality designer Liz Lambert—she’s out of Austin—is somebody I admire a great deal, and I’d also love to work with Heath Ceramics.
LX: Favorite local galleries:
RT: I’ve shown at the Moody Gallery for over 25 years, and the Texas and Inman galleries have fantastic work.
LX: Recent project:
RT: A 25-foot-long wall installation comprising 19-inch square tiles that are about 4 inches thick. It’s a two-dimensional pattern taken from a Transformer piece, and translating that into a three-dimensional bas-relief tile was a very interesting process.
LX: I’m reading...
RT: Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan. It’s a collection of amazingly written essays in this unique, wonderful voice that I completely respond to.