Strings attached : (Re)Fashioning Fiber
Imagine walking up a couple narrow flights of stairs into the attic to find the insides of your Grandma’s sewing box transformed into ethereal works of art. You’re surrounded by knitted body organs, framed human hair, self-generating salt-crystal necklaces, a fiber flotsom colony. Welcome to (Re)fashioning Fiber, a group exhibit curated by Abigail Doan, of artists who use fiber as their medium.
You know, fiber. The raw material that stuff is made of. We wear it, write on it, sleep with it, sit on it and live in it everyday. It’s ubiquitous, yet largely over looked. Its utilitarian role in society and “crafty” stigma makes it hard to transcend into acceptance as conceptual “art.” The artists tackled these stereotypes by blurring the lines between the means and the end, leaving the fiber invisible, as it usually is, and beckoning the viewer to inadvertently move closer. Suddenly adults in cocktail attire found themselves crawling around on the floor, to get a better look at the microscopic elements in each composition.
The exhibit really spoke for itself. When the strings attaching the art to wall become the art, that’s reinterpretation.
‘take a bite’
Abigail Doan >
Title: Fiber Flotsam Colony
Medium: Recycled household fibers and wood, handspun yarn, vintage threads, laces, vegetation, street flotsam, beeswax, seeds, recycled jewelry parts
Sibyll Kalff >
Title: Little Books
Medium: Recycled papers, mementos from global pilgrimages, stickers, drawings
Tara St. James (Study NY) >
Title: Skyline Skirt and Cobweb Bolero
Medium: (re)fashioned twill tape and design studio “waste textiles”
As usual Tara’s piece was stunningly intricate. The bolero and skirt are made of dip died strips of excess hem tape collected from her factory that she wove together by hand. Her signature zipper necklaces also come from factory leftovers, but with her level of craftsmanship end up as polished statement pieces.
Melissa and Xing-Zhen Chung Hilyard (EKO-LAB) >
Title: Trees In The Dark, Dresses In The Light
Medium: mixed media drawing, collage, fiber, sustainable fashion ethically and locally made in NYC
The crocheted organs were a crowd favorite, including an anatomically correct chambered heart, and a pair of ovaries. Anatomy you want to touch. Hanging to the left was a spectacular hair piece, literally. EKO-LAB also went a step beyond, dressing up models to flounce around the event, sticking out their tongues every now and then.
Meiling Chen >
Title: Clothes Make The Man:
#1. Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
#2. All That Glitters Is Not Gold
Medium: Recycled vintage shirt donated by a friend, flea market threads, recycled hanger from the laundromat
Ceca Georgieva >
Title: Green Jewelry
Medium: Local vegetation from the artist’s garden in Bulgaria
Mackenzie Frere >
Title: Study For Breathing 3
Medium: Silk, safflower petals, madder root
Atefeh Khas and Tara Goodarzy >
Handcrafted fiber “Peace” bracelets from Iran
Materials: yarn and paper
The “Peace” bracelets from Iran were a nice take-away and amusing later on when people started saying “I lost my peace,” “Do you want my peace,” and on and on. Incidentally I still have my peace, and turned it into a summer anklet.
To touch and see for yourself, (Re)Fashioning Fiber: New Horizons in Environmental Art and Fashion will be at Green Spaces NY from May 20 through August 13, 2010.