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hand and machine embroidery on antique folk embroidery fragment
Portfolios: May 2012 Curator Reviewed Art
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I’m captivated by this richly layered fiber piece, which seems to deeply embed personal history into a web of multihued textiles. The zigzagged linear patterning over the top gives a definite sense of topography and symbolic representation of space, but at the same time enjoys a randomized organic composition. Lacking obvious boundaries, the vibrant primary colors further suggest particular masses or navigation. But it’s also a bit mysterious to me how this piece exists in space- if it’s part of a floor or wall installation, as the reddish background is hazy in the photo. Just a few Crisps From…is a similarly loaded and resonant work, but it’s clearly articulated edges make it a standalone piece, rather than the suggestion of a part of a larger whole. The dominant expression of the skull form made of composite facial fragments is arresting, and to some extent disturbing. That the eye sockets are open mouths leaves the viewer with a sense of gaping- of a perhaps unwelcome opening, or closing of the portrait. Longer inspection reveals more heavily encrusted or veiled actual eyes above the mouths, completing the double portrait. The warm skin tones of the faces are covered by a tangled and intricate web of white- reinforcing the idea of a figure within a husk or cocoon. There’s a whole lot to see in these pieces, but they also leave the viewer with a distinct impression there’s even more that’s hidden from view.
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