Weavers

While researching images for this part of my course, I discovered so many interesting, talented textile artists. As weaving is my main textile-related interest, I found these three inspiring:

Machiko Agano, born in Kobe, Japan, started out in textiles as a weaver. She studied at Kyoto City University of Arts in Japan in the 1970’s, and is a professor at Kyoto Seiko University. Her large scale installations are designed specifically for the space in which they will be shown. Agano uses a broad selection of materials, ranging from fishing line and wire to fabric and bamboo to inkjet printing and mirrors. Agano’s work has been shown throughout Japan and the UK. In 2001, she participated in Transition & Influence‘s Textural Space project, with her well-reviewed installation at Fabrica, and again in 2003’s Through The Surface. The Fabrica piece, a large scale installation composed of nylon filament, silk thread and handmade Japanese paper, is a beautiful example of her work, with an organic, almost ethereal feel, and a strong sense of movement. This piece certainly achieves her goal of wanting the “viewer to feel enveloped by the mysteries of nature when they see my work.”

Jo McDonald is a Scottish tapestry weaver. Her work is visually almost the opposite of Agano’s, more solid and earthy. She uses old books and other found papers, layered and rolled, woven or held together with monofilament, to form installations that create a new purpose for theses items. McDonald considers herself the “editor in the recycling of this material.” With an MFA in Tapestry from the Edinburgh College of Art, McDonald’s work has been shown throughout Europe, as well as Australia and the United States.

Amie Adelman, an Associate Professor and Fibers Coordinator in the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas, has taken her weaving knowledge to create large-scale line installations. Her work makes me think of Spirograph, in 3D form. Though her work feels mathematically based, Adelman says she “didn’t set out to be a mathematician. I became more interested in math as my artwork developed.” [FiberArtNow, Winter 2014/15] The layering of the thread combined with her use of color create dazzling, energetic pieces. Even though only seen in pictures (unfortunately), the installations seem to glow and shimmer. Deflection, 2014 conveys the energy of the sun’s rays through the use of color in high contrasts and more subtle shifts, as well as the increasing/decreasing sett of the threads.

I hope someday I can view some (all!) of these works in person. It would be interesting to compare my impressions then with now.

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Chestertown River Arts

I recently went to Chestertown River Arts, a small, community arts center on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore (I may be prejudiced…) that hosts a monthly rotating art exhibit in their gallery. August features two fiber related exhibits, Fiber Finesse and Fabrications 2014.

Fiber Finesse, in the main gallery, featured mainly handmade items for wear and home, such as knitted sweaters, shawls and blankets, needlepoint and cross-stitch hangings and quilts.

Shibori Scarf, by Lesley Campana

Shibori Scarf, by Lesley Campana

 

This scarf, was handwoven of Tencel, then hand-dyed (type of dye was not listed). The Shibori dyeing technique Ms. Campana used resulted in beautiful, softened geometric shapes. I also liked the shift of color prominence, anchored by the matching fringe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplemental Warp Scarf, by Lesley Campana

Supplemental Warp Scarf, by Lesley Campana

The Supplemental Warp Scarf was handwoven using rayon, nylon and mohair. This is a weaving technique I’m very interested trying, and I think she uses it for a lovely effect here.

 

 

 

 

 

I found Fabrications 2014 a fascinating exhibit. There were offerings in pottery, wood & mirror, and kiln-formed glass & steel. My favorite artist there was Joyce Murrin, whose works of fabric used color and contrasting prints to create evocative nature pictures.

Moving Water, by Joyce Murrin

Moving Water, by Joyce Murrin

by Joyce Murrin

Winter Coming On, by Joyce Murrin

Deep Forest, by Joyce Murrin

Deep Forest, by Joyce Murrin

 

 

In Moving Water, her use of not only curved pieces of fabric, but the tonal shades gives the piece fluidity. Winter Coming On uses cotton print, paint and pen, and tucking of the fabric for the Birch trees . Deep Forest also utilized machine stitching, and unexpected flashes of color throughout the bottom half of the work.

 

 

 

In Fabric Interpretations of Photos, Ms. Murrin gives us a side-by-side view of the original photo and her fiber version. While it’s very impressive how accurately a photo can be reproduced with fabric, I find the more abstract interpretations to have a greater impact.

Fabric Interpretations of Photos, by Joyce Murrin

Fabric Interpretations of Photos, by Joyce Murrin

Fabric Interpretations, by Joyce Murrin (detail)

Fabric Interpretations, by Joyce Murrin (detail)

 

 

(Lesley Campana, of The Celtic Knot Studio, can be reached at lcampana99@verizon.net)