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Daiva Bergman Harris

Artist Statement

I utilize many mediums, including ink and painting, in expression of my creativity, though felted fiber and textiles are mediums I am consistently drawn to use. Felt is inviting, tactile, and strong. I love the hand-ons aspect to working with it, creating a piece from wool fiber, then manipulating the felted piece through cutting, placement and plaiting. And using my formal background in textile design, fabric provides another canvas whereby using disperse dyes, artwork is created that is visually freeform and organic.

So how did I get here?

I recall the fond memories of childhood- going to work with my father, an upholsterer, and sitting on huge work tables surrounded by bolts and bolts of fabric; watching at home as he lay fabric out on the dining room table, marking it with his white chalk and the sound of huge shears gliding through the material as he would cut, cut, cut; and days spent in my grandmother’s hardware store passing time in a special room where I pored through piles of wallpaper books and played with racks of colored paint chips.

These were the early reflections of how I experience the world, as an abundance of pattern, texture and color. And as my visual senses are bombarded daily with information and imagery, how is it possible to take away something to value, take in as beauty and find meaning. For me, these are all found in the little things- the details.

The details are where life resonates for me and these details give life to my work. Where two colors meet, where a piece of yarn creates a line that meanders and leads the eye, or where shapes merge and blend- it is there that I seek to capture the viewer’s attention. I want the viewer to be drawn in and work through all that seems to be happening on the surface, to that end.


My journey in the arts has been varied, broad, and personal. From my early days, I have been exploring one medium or another- Painting with oil, acrylic and watercolor, oil pastels, Japanese painting, sculpture, pottery, weaving, silkscreen printing, woodworking, fabric dyeing, and felting. It is gratifying to me that at this point in my life, these explorations have all come together to assist me in my current work.

My professional life began out of college working for a renowned portrait photography firm in Boston. Then after working in the Interior Design Department for a well-known hotel company in Cambridge, I moved to Los Angeles and my career in textile design came into focus working in the art department of an importer and manufacturer of carpets and rugs. After these many years of employment, I returned to college to get my Masters Degree in Textile Design, honing my skills during that time working part time for a textile converting company.

Then I married and raising my children became the priority. During this period, I stayed connected to the arts through volunteer work- as an elementary school coordinator and district board member of an art literacy program, as well as manager and design assistant for a non-profit school business that turned student art into product (including clothing, stationary and jewelry), a venture that became a prototype for raising funds to support the arts in the classroom.

Relationships I developed during this time spurred me on to create a number of workshops in textile design, pastel drawing and watercolor.

I have returned to the art world, staying connected to my commercial textile design roots and using my education in the fiber arts to develop fine art. It is an exciting time of growth and discovery.