Needles and Seams
Marina Brownlow, Kay Khan, Merce Mitchell, Judy Tuwaletstiwa
In the world of visual art these days, processes and materials run wild. No longer is a work of art most likely to be an oil painting or a bronze sculpture. Artists use any material and every process imaginable.
In Needles & Seams, four artists engage with some of our most ancient processes, sewing, felting, and knitting. These series of textile works reach out to an elemental and primal place inside of us where we have related to fabric and cloth as a source of clothing and shelter for millennia.
Always interested in pushing limits, Marina Brownlow works with diverse art forms and materials: sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, drawing. Bronze, steel, glass, wood, leather, rope, fiber, wax, clay. Here she will be showing a recent series of stuffed and waxed hanging cloth sculpture, evocative of biological forms of plants, animals and bodies.
Kay Khan's work is a mosaic of fragments, collected experiences, information, and images. She begins with simple ordinary ready-made garments that she deconstructs; armor with quilting, imagery, and text; and then rebuilds. Garments have their mundane yet necessary purpose to protect us from the elements. But they are obviously more than that in every society. They are our “decoration”; they express and reflect who we are as individuals and as a culture. In this exhibition she will share 2 recent child-sized garments and a new series of small panels from her Conversations series which explore dialogue, relationship, and distance between people.
Merce Mitchell has been a feltmaker for twenty years. Her felt sculpture is handmade,and often embellished and embroidered. Form, technique, and the combination of felt, wire, and encaustic are her current explorations. Felt has a tendency to mutate and change form. There’s an element of chaos that emphasizes process over result, leading to an unplanned order, a natural unfolding and allowing the work to have a life of it’s own. This Pod series incorporates wool, wax, lichen and crocheted copper wire.
Judy Tuwaletstiwa shares several 12" x 12" panels from her new and evolving "where does art come from" series. Using strong and unrefined materials such as clay, thread, wool, Porcupine quills, and glass, and techniques of sewing, binding hand-moulding and burning, she explores origins of her own artistic process and the sources of life itself for us as humans in the web of our lives. Tuwaletstiwa expresses continual surprise at where her artistic vision leads her: “The act of creation becomes more mysterious the more I do it. Maybe I haven’t lived long enough to decipher its meaning. Living as an artist means being part of the flow.”