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vivify at annex gallery
A lively and intense fiber art exhibit
“The varying styles and techniques of the six artists in Vivify work together to create a unique exhibit that explores many aspects of the art of working with fiber. Curator Nancy J. Rodwan said, “Some people have a concept of fiber art as being very traditional or utilitarian. While this exhibit respects the traditions of fiber work, I wanted our work to show how fiber can reach new levels, be interactive, challenge the imagination, and still value the foundations and cultures.” The Vivify artists are Boisali Biswas, Marcelyn Bennett-Carpenter, Jada Bowden, Deja Milany, curator Nancy J. Rodwan, and Najma Ma’at Wilson. This diverse group of women spans five generations and each artist brings a distinct approach to the exhibit.”
Boisali Biswas’ suspended translucent panels of hand-woven yarn and copper read like an intricate language that navigates between American and Indian cultures. Netting and seeds erupt along the edges in expressive detail. Encouraged immersion causes the roughly hewn scrolls to gently sway with the explorer.
The Bosques’ mirrored patterning is woven so tightly threads blend like paint. The curve creates a gateway beckoning a viewer to investigate the image underneath. The linear pink pops the earthy palette with complementary accents of shimmery silver.
Thoughtfully distributed forms, with the bark cloth’s natural texture contributing to the arrangement, soften in the wavy, irregular silhouette. Wounds are stitched into the warm surface with seeds of love strewn across the center creating movement in an otherwise static composition.
Jada Bowden’s repurposed materials in various palettes and patterns knot together creating a pendulant hammock that reaches 16 feet across commanding its end of the mezzanine. Wispy arms are stronger than they appear as this cozy nest remains stoic as viewers pass.
My mother used to make her own clothes. Her sister kept a sewing closet her entire life. These six artists, spanning several generations and cultures, reimagine not just this medium but a craft women have been perfecting for centuries. Fiber art has traditionally taken a back seat to painting and sculpture. These works are painting and sculpture.
On view through April 30th at Annex Gallery 333 Midland, Highland Park
*images are mine
direct quote from gallery materials
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