Archives for posts with tag: installation

Next Friday, March 11, marks the opening of Teem, a collaborative installation by Mary Babcock and Christopher Curtin. A first for Textile Arts Center!

Teem superimposes metaphors of water (movement/potentiality), and the sea (the infinite, comfort, danger, aloneness) to evoke a sense of dreamspace — the space of possibility. Using textiles, Teem creates an environment where viewers find themselves under the surface of the water at the powerful juncture where river currents meet the ocean tides, where the individual meets the collective.

(Previously installed as “Deluge”- see below)

Chris will be joining us for the Opening Reception, giving a talk that night on concept and installation. Unfortunately, Mary, the fiber artist of the two, is located in Hawaii and will be unable to join us… However, in preparation for the installation that will begin tomorrow I’ve been looking at Mary’s work a ton.

Through performance, installation, and textile media, Mary focuses on many familiar issues to us (war, revolution, natural and manmade disaster), through the idea of “mending” — something we’ve been talking about a lot lately around here.

Epitaph – Created in response to the US invasion on Iraq. TheWedge Gallery, Asheville, NC, 2003

Dirty Laundry – Performance/installation created in response to the US invasion on Iraq. TheWedge Gallery, Asheville, NC, 2003

In Mary’s words: “My work explores ‘mending’ and its implications for cultural change. Although I work across traditionally defined media and conceptual boundaries, the grounding point for my work is in the metaphors derived from fiber processes (e.g. stitching, binding, weaving, piecing) and the overarching concept of mending. I am interested in how precise application of fiber metaphors may heighten our understanding of both peace-building and of fractures in the foundations for social justice. Tattering might be inherent. It is part of the wear and tear – some necessary, some not so necessary. But we seem to fall short on the art of mending.

I am deeply interested in the profundity of listening and of silence – of listening to the conversation between materials, thoughts and processes and of experiencing the rich silence of open space. I investigate ‘making’ as a form of contemplative action – as a tool for illuminating implicit knowledge of our potential for compassion and our proclivities for grief, confusion and complicity with structural and personal violence.”

Departire – Site specific installation at Ueno Town Art Museum, formerly Sakamoto Elementary School, for Threshold: Sustainable Art Project, Ueno/Tokyo, Japan, 2009. A response to Tokyo’s changing age demographics that leave elementary schools vacant and shift cultural mores. Pieced from over 50 nagajugan, mostly of vintage silk from obsolete Japanese textile mills, handsewn by students and volunteers in workshop settings.

Circumspect – Created in response to the US invasion on Iraq. The Jones House, Boone, NC. Materials: Wall Street Journal and NY Times, stained; tapestries of black walnut dyed silk, kozo and book binders thread; typewriter erasure ribbons, post post mortem surgical needles. Chronicles deaths of the “coalition forces”. The names of those who died between the March 21st invasion and April 1, 2004 (the showʼs opening) were deleted from the ribbons as they silently vanished from our lives.

While we find no shortage of political art in general, and specifically in the fiber and textile world, I find Mary’s approach to be unique. Instead of speculating the problem, it focuses on a solution, forcing us to think about what comes next.

Looking at her work, even through image, does invoke the feeling of silence. It makes me stop — at first at it’s beauty, and after reading her Artist Statement — to contemplate my own ability to pay attention to relationships between people, materials, concepts, places. Our ability, as humans, to withstand pain and hardship (including the ways we provoke it) and then our ability to focus on how to fix it. What new solutions can we come up with, and what can we learn from older ideas?

Unnatural Acts – Prickly pear fiber, silver solder, wire. 2003 Addresses the unnaturalness of imposed boundaries and forced militarism.

Deluge – Created in collaboration with Christopher Curtin for The Netshed at Alderbrook Station, Astoria, OR, 2010. Once the site of a thriving, albeit contested, salmon fishing industry, the Netshed – where fishermen would repair their gillnets – is an historical structure that serves as an icon for the interplay of migration, economy, ecology, dispossession and reclamation. Using hand-dyed cloth, the metaphor of water and reclaimed gillnets – the material that originally necessitated the site – we sought to re-engage the building’s history as a site of restoration and repair, creating a poetic context in which viewers might dream new possibilities for dialogue and negotiation. Gillnets provided by the Columbia River Fisherman’s Protective Union’s gillnet recycling project. Photo credit: http://www.donfrankphotography.com

I cannot wait to see Teem installed in our space. Other programming through March and April will be yoga and mediation, shibori, and Abigail Doan’s Earth Day workshop.

Hope to see you next Friday, March 11 for the Opening from 8-11PM! The show will be up through April. And you can check out the video of “Deluge” to get an idea of what will be up here.

We hope you got to check out the Cutting Edge: Celebrating Fiber show that recently came down.  It really was a stunning show, that drew in wanderers off the street with the massive and delicate textile installations visible from the street. Textile installation artists are vital to textile’s “Fine Art” status.  For the Textile Arts Center, we are dedicated to this stance on textile arts and it will open the doors for textile artists to become internationally recognized just like Picasso and Monet.

Rowland Ricketts is interested in the science of color and how it affects our sensations when we view art.  Contemporary science tells us that color is a sensation experienced because of the differing wavelengths of light waves. To Rowland this is only part of the story. As an artist, her sensation of color is also informed by that color’s material substance and the process that gives color form for her to reflect upon.

“This takes the form of both functional textiles and textiles intended solely as artwork. I see the two practices as symbiotic equals. My artwork challenges me to better define for myself the substantive meaning of the plants and processes I use. My functional work allows me to apply this vision of color in the context of a socially and environmentally responsible design practice. Still, in both my functional textiles and artwork, my intention is the same: Through simple forms and a straight-forward presentation I strive to present the viewer with a color so rich that they see beyond the dyed material to examine all that lies within a color’s substance.” — Rowland’s Statement

My other favorite textile installation artist is Eva Schjolberg.  She has a background in textile projects with regard to space, body and clothing. In recent years she has moved in the direction of textile sculptures and installations. In this exhibition, she shows three-dimensional columns of folded fabric. The starting point for geometry shapes are based on squares. Work The basic structure consists of strips of textile ribbons that are folded in a zigzag pattern. In the distance, the precise fold the edges smoothed out and seemingly melt together into a rhythmic spiral pattern around an axis. The installation items will be experienced as parts of circles.

You probably can tell by now that I favor minimalist installations.  If you have any other textile installations you favor please email me at blog@textileartscenter.com.  I want to encompass the entire range of textile arts.

If you’ve got installation art you want to share, consider submitting to our Call for Entries for our Jan/Feb Gallery show: Missing/Missed, curated by Scott Henstrand.

Let’s get back to the basics shall we?

Textile arts is all about using threads and bringing them together to make cloth, thus that thread ultimately becomes a part of a larger object.

I first saw a thread installation at my college, Skidmore, where a student went around campus threading beautiful, orange sculptures in the trees, on the buildings, and winding down stairwells.  Though most students probably just ignored the work that must have gone into imagining and producing that work, I found that my art friends had different opinions on the subject.  Either the work was immature and not worthy to be called art or it was ambitious and added to the aesthetic of the campus.  No matter how you interpreted it though, you could not ignore that it was there.  Thread, a seemingly easily overlooked object was right there, staring me in the face.

Sebastien Preschoux makes these larger threaded installations as well.  Just by threading around the natural surroundings his work begins to take form.  His thread installations are all completed by hand, his belief is that art done by hand is more valuable than work that is easily reproduced.  That the time and effort that goes into a beautifully hand-made object is a priceless quality.  Which, I think most would agree, is a correct statement.

Even though Sebastien describes his work as cocoon, and that he harnesses the essence of a spider when spinning his webs; I see these threads as interpretations of light refractions.

Beautiful illustrations of light.  Though he may not know it, he has a firm grasp of Newton’s most famous experiment to extract the spectrum of color.  Newton knew that he could see the entire spectrum of light by allowing the light to pass through a prism and hitting a screen.

Especially in Sebastien’s nature installations, one can easily picture these threads as bursts of light.  The origin of light at the point that all the threads cross, like a spotlight.

Though I am partial to Sebastien’s outdoor work, I find his concept takes on a different view indoors. The colors are not as distinct, melding together and creating an example of a primary color mixing pool.  Takes you back to kindergarten huh?

**Most of these photos were provided by Trendland.net.

If you are interested in learning more about Newton and the Color Spectrum, click here.