May 1, 2012 - August 1, 2015

photo by Susan Bennerstrom

From May 1, 2012 to July 16, 2015, I sat for an hour each day at a former bus stop in Bellingham WA, knitting a half-mile link from the bench to the Bay—meanwhile engaging place, people, and time. A form of art as social practice, the work invited spontaneous social interaction from neighbors and passersby who complete the work, holding it in memory long after the installation ends.  The knit line was stretched across the street, forcing people to deliberate as to whether or not to drive over art, sparking conversation.  The element of surprise, poetry and possibility was vital to the work, giving unsuspecting people an aesthetic shot-in-the-arm in their daily routine.  I made eye contact with people as they drove by, exchanging smiles, breaking down the wall between driver and pedestrian, car and flesh.  As social interaction becomes increasingly superficial and disembodied, I offered my unguarded presence both on the bench and through my online journal to those hungry for authentic connection.  The slowness of the journey and the gradual accumulation of knit yarn on the hose reel makes visible the power of each of our small, daily practices over time.

photo by Christen Mattix

photo by Vanessa Osage
photo by Christen Mattix

photo by Christen Mattix

photo by Jay Saxton
photo by Christen Mattix
photo by Christen Mattix

photo by Christen Mattix

photo by Pablo Shugurensky

photo by Janelle Bighinatti

photo by Janelle Bighinatti

photo by Janelle Bighinatti

photo by Janelle Bighinatti

photo by Janelle Bighinatti

photo by Janelle Bighinatti

Installation at Social Fabric, Bellingham, WA 2016


The Poem Booth is a evolving display of local poetry in a former phone booth.


Nebula by Malissa Perry

A heartfelt collaboration between Malissa Perry, a woman with Down Syndrome and autism, and her caregiver, artist Christen Mattix.  

The Malissa Perry Project pairs Malissa’s jewel-like abstractions with Christen’s bold portraits of Malissa. A work of art as social practice, the project brought together adults with intellectual disabilities, caregivers, and the community in radical celebration. Overturning stereotypical ideas of ability and disability, artist and model, the exhibit reveals a democratic approach to art practice.

Christen’s intimate and confrontational portraits translate Malissa's body language into paint, finding beauty in Malissa’s unconventional appearance. Vibrant colors charge the work with emotional intensity, evoking Malissa's radiant spirit.

Malissa Perry is a nonverbal painter whose paintings give expression to a rich, enigmatic inner life. She creates dense, atmospheric layers of marker, glitter and paint that suggest nebulae, tidal pools, or glittering geodes. The surfaces of her paintings incorporate found objects like shoelaces, beads and balloons culled from her daily life. Her ability to paint was discovered when beloved staff person, Nancy Daugherty, gifted her with a blank canvas and encouraged her to start painting. Many of the titles for the paintings were created in a collaborative process by Malissa's support staff.

3 Acorns by Malissa Perry

Malissa and Phoebe by Christen Mattix
Real Presence by Christen Mattix

The White Painting by Christen Mattix

Lacing Card by Christen Mattix

Maria by Christen Mattix

Red and Black Shirt by Christen Mattix

Striped Shirt Performance curated for Jacob Dahlgren
11/1 – 17/1 2016
Each day for a period of 7 days, you will wear a shirt that allows you to merge with your environment. The choice of shirts will depend totally on the negative space.

1) Dissolve into a work of art
2) Fade into the furniture
3) Slip into a sign
4) Become a bus
5) Lose yourself in a crowd of people wearing striped shirts
6) Blend into a sidewalk or crosswalk.
7) Go green

1000 GIFTS
Artist Residency at St. Gertrude's Monastery in Cottonwood, ID
Community members and artist residents were invited to submit a list of things that make them happy and I transcribed them.  The cumulative list of 1000 gifts turned into a sculpture and a site specific drawing.





Flood (The Offering) - retired altarcloth, cloth tears, paper, burlap
St. James Cathedral, Seattle WA



Knitting Meditation for Peace - 10 Day Knit-in at SPAC Gallery, Seattle, WA
Sept 11 - Sept 21, 2009 World Day for Peace

view of completed work (destroyed)

Boneknit - ovenbake clay and handknit wool cozy

                       Scarredoven-bake clay with vintage nails from James Washington's studio

Bandaged Bottle - hot water bottle, tape

Thorn Ladder


The Choir (I am Listening with My Whole Being) - handcast paper, thread,

Mother-Daughter - ivy, yarn

The Prophet - paper, tumbleweed

Conversatio - alternate view

Conversatio - paper, yarn, vintage lamp posts