Nick Fagan, The Workers Dilemma, 106 x 88 inches, moving blankets, 2020
Nick Fagan’s, “Transubstantiation” is a new series of quilted tapestries made from used moving blankets. Raised in a Catholic household, Fagan’s title refers to the spiritual process, through ritual, where wine and bread turn into the blood and body of Christ. Intrigued by this idea, Fagan embraces this notion that everyday objects, materials can be transformed into something much greater.
When not making art, teaching, or working as a preparator at the ICA in Richmond, Nick works as a mover. Overtime Nick became fascinated with the moving blankets themselves, these everyday, mundane objects which protect and preserve a family’s beloved belongings, that show the wear and tear of the labor and the history of these moves and yet go unnoticed and unheralded. Fagan states, “the blanket envelops these precious objects and gains a charge, similar to Joseph Beuys’ idea of charging objects.”
Fagan is fascinated by the residue of touch, including stains and rips, the evidence which remains from the ritual of moving. “Thinking back to the transubstantiation idea of the body and blood, the mover’s body is intertwined with the blankets through their sweat and labor, transforming a blanket into a spirit of labor. There is a power and charge when you see the moving blanket transformed into a tapestry, this fabric that has a history of protecting and porting things now becoming spiritual and large.“