Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Color of Conflict opens soon


A new exhibit at Susan Hensel Gallery

Dec 1, 2010-Jan. 1, 2011

reception on Friday, December 17, 7-10pm

The object is yarn. The subject is war.

Color of Conflict, opening at Susan Hensel Gallery December 1, is a collaboration with photographer John Hensel, my son

Always a multimedia artist who seeks narrative, I brought the world of fiber into my studio practice. Color of Conflict is a show of photographs that wrest the meaning from a series of yarns spun during my sabbatical. These yarns, containing army toys and the colors and forms of armed conflict, can be knitted. But their true horror is revealed in the photographic display.

In the art world, one talks about transgression. Transgression can be loosely defined as breaking expected boundaries or expectations. Yarn is expected to be soft, warm, useful, at times even life saving. It is often associated with leisure, craft and women's work. Rarely is it thought of as an object, a material or a subject of fine art. In this project, yarn paradoxically uses its traditional softness to express a hard/harsh/violent reality. It uses its allusions to its life saving properties( warmth, padding, protecting) as a field of discussion about war and death. It uses a "women's art" to discuss a "man's pursuit."

This body of work was completed during a six month sabbatical from gallery life. I took the risk of closing Susan Hensel Gallery for six months in order to return to studio practice and research. During the sabbatical I spent much time exploring the narrative capabilities of fiber. I have become part of the artyarn movement, a radical group of spinners who push the idea of what yarn can be to its maximum. Usually, it is a lighthearted game, spinning Christmas baubles and Halloween eyeballs into fluffy masses of wool. It’s mostly about process and fun. I love process as much as the next person, but process alone does not satisfy me in the long-run. I have been adding, multiplying, accreting and inserting meaning wherever I can in handspun yarn.

There will be a reception for the us on Friday, December 17, 7-10pm. Come see the yarn. Come meet the photographer.