Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Common Thread at Textile Center

There are about 130 artists represented in Textile Center's annual members show this year, and every viable, well-lit inch of wall space is filled with textile art of nearly every type. I took a few snapshots of my favorites, and will refer to some of them in this post, properly credited.

The first is a favorite, by friend Kristin Hoelscher-Schacker, Text and Formulae. In the main work a digital image of an open book is printed on linen, and embellished with maple seeds and hand-stitching. Looking at this piece makes me long to actually bind a book made of cloth, with line after line of maple seed glyphs. Using the simple trick of scanning the book (and I am really curious whether there were originally words on the pages), the image has nice depth. Makes me long to hold such an object in my hands. 

Marilyn Klinkner's collage series inspires me with its intuitive, almost casual layering of textiles. I realize this kind of work isn't for everyone. But my work is neither loose nor terribly abstract, so for me there's a beguiling freedom here. Like Kristin's work, I'm drawn to the object-ness of these compositions. Up close, the individual fragments of cloth and their juxtaposed ages and textures are, to me, captivating. There are seemingly stories associated with each -- in my imagination anyway.

Kathmandu Streets and Alleyways by Nancy Condon is lush and layered, yet quite thin and frail-seeming. A map, and another kind of story-cloth; it is as beautiful from 20 feet away as it is up close. There is a feeling of wear, age and mending -- it has some of that boro feeling popular with certain artists. The sort of work I would like to dissolve into. 

I've recently deposited my grant check, and now am officially in the "gathering" stage -- images, information, ideas, looking for the ultimate direction of the project. None of the pieces I mention above is fully "off the wall" the way I want my Jerome work to be. But each contains a suggestion of the forms, textures, colors I've been meditating upon. 

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