Ursidae, which means The Family of Bears, is very much a family project. When my friend Maj Anya DeBear's father Robert was diagnosed with cancer, he set his daughters with the task of making use of a series of Tessellation drawings that he had created in 1975. Tessellations, which were made famous by artist M.C. Escher, consist of infinite fields of interlocking forms or figures. The work had never been seen by anyone outside of his immediate family before, and Maj Anya and her siblings decided to figure out a way to share the mesmerizing drawings with the public.
Maj Anya, who is an incredibly talented artist in her own right, turned the drawings into textile designs, imbued with vivid colors. Her first project was a dramatic custom made dress that she collaborated on with her friend Carlo Alcantara for the musician Oh Land, featuring cascading interlocking birds. Following the success of the project, and the cathartic experience of having her father witness the dynamic dress on stage before his passing, she also decided to create a line of sweeping scarves from the fabric. The choice was based on the heirloom nature of scarves, which are passed down from generation to generation, much like her father's drawings were passed down to her and her siblings. The story is incredibly moving, and the work is very compelling on its own. I can't think of a more beautiful way to commemorate a moment of loss.