Angela Hennessy is an Oakland-based interdisciplinary artist. Her work and research examines the aesthetics of loss, constructions of race, and mythologies of hair, dirt, and beasts. She teaches courses on death, memory, material culture, and contemporary textile practices.
Much of her work is based on the act of unraveling black velvet, a slang term for black women; a material rich in references to luxury, labor, and sensuality. Delicate and destructive manipulations of velvet appear as washes of ink and smudges of charcoal, a spot of mold or a clump of hair. Her objects feel as if they might get up and crawl away. Their ambiguous nature arouses the desire to touch, to understand not by logic, but by tactile experience, from one body to another.
In 2005, she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and has exhibited at Exit Art in New York, the Newport Textile Mill in New Hampshire, and San Francisco Bay Area galleries including Ampersand International Arts, Oakland Art Gallery, Southern Exposure, The Richmond Art Center, The Small Gallery, and The Oakland Museum of California. Her work is featured in a special issue on dust in Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture.