Coordinated by Marcia Widenor
Fiber art has the long standing tradition of being a "craft" as opposed to fine art. The distinction between craft and fine art is not always easy to draw, if indeed it should be drawn at all, especially in today's contemporary art world wherein artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create objects that recall levels of meaning other than decoration or usefulness. Here then are nine fiber artists whose work irepresents this medium in the realms of fine art.
Jai Hai Ahn "My previous work was focused on resurrection in nature, and the idea of the transmigration of souls. For example, a seed rots to bloom a flower in order to produce fresh fruits. A seemingly meaningless material in the process of the transmigration of souls became a curious element of my work. My previous works consisted of seeds, shells, and floral leaves, which were abandoned outside. Next I was interested in collecting material found in my daily life, such as peels, seeds, and cores from fruit, containers from jelly, plastic wraps, candle holders, and cosmetics. My revisioning of those discarded materials could provide different value and regenerate energies in them."
Gretl Bauer "Essentially the work is about stillness and light. My fields of drawn and threaded lines are distillers of light. Sometimes a dark light. (I think of the "dark meadows" of Martha Graham; the religious art of Southeast Asia — suggesting movement and possibility within great silence."
Jappie King Black uses traditional fiber and weaving techniques. "Each piece is an icon or representative symbol," said Black. "As a group, the figures become a single narrative with references to basketry, mask making, and ritual."
Pam Cooper "I use in my work a variety of commonly found household items, photographs, scissors, needles, pins, thread, sewing patterns, pieces of furniture etc. Some of these are incorporated into handmade abaca paper. The metal items in the work are allowed to rust which stain the surrounding areas.It is these rust stains produced in the paper or other materials, which resemble droplets of dried blood. They are also of the same chemical makeup. Whereas spilt blood infers a recent violent action, the rust stains are developed over a period of weeks or months. With the rusting comes a slow destruction, compromising the inherent strength of the metal domestic items I include in my pieces."
Elizabeth Duffy "Using paper, tape and other everyday materials, I make objects that seek to evoke wonder and a sense of the unexpected through the process of transformation. My sources are the stuff overlooked in our daily routines?the detritus of our lives of consumption: telephone books, paint chips, wax paper, lint, straws. By manipulating them, another life begins to emerge, one that explores their un- ordinariness, their ability to suggest both the man-made and natural worlds."
Robyn Love "My art is made from months of repetitive labor yet it does not truly exist except in the moment of placement at the site for which it was intended. I see this manner of working as related to cooking, cleaning, raising children and the other repetitive tasks women do that allow the world to function smoothly. The result is that my work is all mixed up in my day-to-day life. "
Sally Shore "For the past several years I have been using the Asian basket weaving technique called anyam gila, or the 'mad weave.' This weave requires three elements and produces a hexagonal pattern and a six-pointed star. In exploring this weave I have discovered that dozens of visual tricks can be produced by varying the color and value of the ribbons and by using two or more ends as a single element. "
Carol Westfall "I have been exploring the cultural roots and resulting contemporary, imagery of an art movement which evolves form the study of an appropriation of some aspect of textile traditions. These traditions, coupled with an interest in feminine concerns, current issues in the arts in general as well as an abiding love for ethnic and tribal textiles, encompass an extraordinary variety ion terms of materials, processes and most important, visual messages. An artist is concerned manly with the visual message, that culminating image — the medium is usually irrelevant."
Marcia Widenor Widenor is noted for her environments, which are made from handmade paper and fiber. Her unique use of materials and her skillful ability to bring out the inherent nature of the materials gives the work a sense of process that relies on memories and instances of time. The resulting installations make strong reference to nature and the delicate strength of the materials she uses.
VARIATIONS ON A THEME
curated by James Pinney
Creative Adventures in Truth and Beauty
paintings by Sam Jungkurth, sculptures by Linda Smith
6th Annual BRIDGING
ART & ABILITY — “EXPLORING
WELLNESS AND TRANSFORMATION"
Curated by James Pinney