|Heavy Metal, one of my quilts in the show|
I love going to art shows, especially in "alternate", non-profit, non-institutional galleries. We're lucky enough to have several here in Athens, Ga - a town steaming with artists, rock bands and retirees. A strange mix! but we're high on the "recommended" list for all three!
One of the better known galleries is ATHICA and I'm lucky enough to be included in their current show Worked described thus:
Work of art is an apt term, suggesting not only a process resulting in an object, but a labor and its attendant economies. Worked (is) an exhibition highlighting the labor that goes into art making along with work that that addresses more conventional ideas about…well, work.
Well, I don't know about that! it all sounds a bit vague to me! But it's an interesting little show, if somewhat sparse - just 12 pieces. I'm used to seeing those quilt shows where quilts are hung on every inch of space including the attendants! To my eyes, a couple of the pieces were a little derivative. for example the guy that got inside a pegboard cubicle to do some kind of physical jerks (no I don't think That Kind!) of which a camera feed showed us totally untantilizing glimpses! I think Marina Abramović did it much better!
Another derivation, perhaps a little more subtle was this work:
I did however spend a long time peering at Laura Tanner Graham's pieces. I really liked the combination of richness and freshness, plus the mystery. You had to peer in closely to see if you could figure out what the story was. Laura describes her work: "as a retelling of the consequences of excessive manipulation". I guess many quilters can relate to that!
She also says:
"through the modification of domestic practices typically assigned to women my mixed media paper installations explore the contemporary possibilities of such crafts as quilt making from paper, ink, cotton, thread, latex paint, sewing needles, contact paper and Mylar".
and another close up
I do hope that the quilts I'll be seeing at Quilt National '13 will also explore those possibilities, instead of being either derivative or clunky imitations of the kinds of paintings produced by "sunday painters". Of course I'll be reporting back on that show - which isn't till the end of May.
I also visited the MFA exit show at our local art museum this week and was happy to see several fiber pieces - I'll give a brief review (with pictures!) next blog. Suffice to say that fiber as a medium and quilts as a format are both alive and well in MFA programs!!
So, if you have been, thanks for reading!! And, do please comment - you will be instantly more gifted and energized if you do!!! Elizabeth