Thursday, September 11, 2014

“From the Inside Out: Felt, Paper, Textiles: Revelations in Natural Mark Making”

by Sun Smith-Fôret

Pictured: works by Rio Wrenn (left) and Patricia Vivod (right)

Great textiles abound in the area this month, despite the fact that the St. Louis' semi-annual Innovations in Textiles symposium was postponed until 2015. There is a group exhibition highlighting stitchery at the St. Louis Artist's Guild curated by artist Barbara Simon; there’s “Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern,” an exhibit curated by artist Jane Sauer and featuring five artists’ works, including St. Louis’ own Luanne Rimel and on view at Duane Reed Gallery; and there’s “From the Inside Out: Felt, Paper, Textiles: Revelations in Natural Mark Making,” an absolutely splendid installation of natural dyed and printed works on natural materials at the Art & Design West Gallery at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

For the presentation of “From the Inside Out: Felt, Paper, Textiles: Revelations in Natural Mark Making,” artist-curators Patricia Vivod and Elizabeth Adams-Marks invited internationally recognized textile artists working in earth, metal and plant dyes to come together here for an exhibition, workshop and lectures. Healing, health, and eco-consciousness are themes that reverberate through the installation in a show that is a visual and emotional stunner for all the subtlety and fluid grace of artworks on and of natural materials. The Faculty of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Art Department graciously invited the participating Textile artists to use the SIUE Gallery, replacing their annual "Faculty Art Exhibition" when the original venue for “From the Inside Out” fell through at the very last minute. What generous people.

“From the Inside Out: Felt, Paper, Textiles: Revelations in Natural Mark Making” in the Art & Design West Gallery at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Pictured (from left) are artworks by all five featured artists: Irit Dulman, Pat Vivod, Rio Wrenn, Fabienne Rey, and Elizabeth Adams-Marks.

The five artists whose works are featured in this exhibit are influenced by diverse natural events and the mediums/processes are the message.

Patricia Vivod. (detail) Eluviation. 2012. Shibori Rust Silk, 112"x45".

Patricia Vivod works from intimate knowledge of the land as farmers know the land, but counters nostalgia with a focus on the potential for disaster as fracking impacts land above and below the surface. Her free hanging silk banners, probably weighing less than 5 pounds when folded up all together, impose a monumental presence and are architecturally significant as they define the wall to which they are adjacent, offering the invitation for one to wonder at their origins in Vivod's thought and process.

Elizabeth Adams-Marks. Leats and Buddles-Tin Mines on Badmin Moor, Cornwall UK. 2014. Handmade Paper, Rust Printed, Eco-Printed, Tannins and Teas, 18"x24".

For Elizabeth Adams-Marks, the landscape of Cornwall, her husband's birthplace, supplies memories and imagery tied to marks made by man on that landscape, Neolithic stone circles, cliff paths, Celtic crosses, gorse lined moorland trails, Iron Age circle huts, china tips from the clay pits, modern mica plateaus—all images which she impresses into handmade paper.

Rio Wrenn. (detail) Core-Dreamscape. 2014. Silk, Natural Dye, Composted, Tea, Rust, Shibori Methods. 55"x55".

Rio Wrenn contemplates aspects of "Core" as that which ties us to the earth by extracting colors onto silk, creating patterns as nature shows us: tree rings, cell division, parasitic growths, leaves, stones. Her inspiration sips from auras, mandalas, language, human spirit. Rio reminds us that we manipulate nature as we manipulate our own lives and society, that humans from our very beginnings have always tried to shape the core.

Fabienne Rey. (detail) Mapping Healing Time I, January to December. 2013. 12 Eco Printed Silk Panels, 90"x37".

Fabienne Rey "maps," encodes personal meaning by eco-printing, transforming discarded textiles with hand stitching, wandering the emotional path of self-knowledge, self healing, transformation through her art practice.

Irit Dulman. Pillar of Salt. 2014. Eco-Printed Wool Jersey, Castor Plant Leaves, 2 Panels, each 60"x17".

Irit Dulman, an Israeli artist, explores the possibilities of the eucalyptus tree imported from Australia. Seasonal consciousness permeates her production and taking root is a symbol for this artist as she seeks to connect to the central European culture from which her parents originated. Dulman's shibori felted dress is a pivot point and anchor in the center of the exhibition, the surrounding pieces generating feelings of fluidity and connection, a cloth dance, wind-like whispers, I heard sound in these pieces, soft seeming, yet solid and reliable as messages about the artists' most essential and informing values, values which collate with my own, a sweet kinship.

Exhibition co-curator Patricia Vivod likes the metaphor of the feast. I encourage you to treasure the tastes and go see this show at SIUE's Art & Design West Gallery before it closes September 21.
From the Inside Out: Felt, Paper, Textiles: Revelations in Natural Mark Making” is presented August 18-September 21, 2014 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Art and Design West Gallery, 75 South Circle Drive, Edwardsville, IL 62026. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional gallery hours, contact co-Curator Patricia Vivod by email: Pay parking is available in Visitor Lot B ($1/hour).
Sun Smith-Fôret is a practicing psychotherapist in St. Louis and a regional textile artist. Her mixed media textiles, drawings and paintings on the subject of movies over time have been exhibited in numerous gallery & museum exhibitions throughout the St. Louis area, Midwest and U.S. Her work is represented by Duane Reed Gallery, St. Louis, MO.

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