Collage, mixed media sewn to fabric, 84” h x 72” w
Presented for “Art Off-Screen," July 18, 2020 – January 20, 2021. Curated by Eileen Jeng-Lynch for Neumeraki.com
Installed in a window facing West 133rd Street at the corner of Broadway, Harlem, New York
Art Off-Screen, is an international exhibition of artwork in outward-facing locations, so the work can be viewed from the outside for the community. Due to pause orders during this pandemic, art has moved online and much of it is still behind closed doors. Art Off-Screen provides access to art beyond a screen, inspiring creativity, amplifying voices, encouraging change, and sharing messages of hope and healing.
The title refers to the return of "everything" that we have missed during the pandemic lockdowns, and also acknowledges that there are institutions, practices, structures, and positions that we don’t want back.
Collaged from commercial packaging materials, these bright plastic bags, beautiful paper wrappers and shiny aluminum foils were sewn and quilted onto a free-hanging banner that gently sways and shimmers in the window, emphasizing the downward cascade of these disposable materials. Used to wrap plant foods imported from distant continents and former colonies - chocolate, coffee, oranges, and avocados – we are reminded that our detritus will also come back to us.
Silk organza, Mylar, fabric ribbons, sewn, 24' x 10'
The proportions and shimmering movement of this hanging fabric collage recall the nearby waterfall of the Passaic River, the "Great Falls" that, beginning in the 1790s, powered the mills and industrial textile manufacturing in Paterson, New Jersey, famed for its silk production. The title more specifically refers to the fall of the local textile industry and of labor rights in the early 20th century.
Installed in a corridor of the former factory, Great Falls was created by sewing together two 60 foot long panels of synthetic silk organza. Slung over a rod 25 feet above the floor, red silk ribbons and gold mylar strands pour and bleed from the vertical center seam. The translucent and fragile organza contrasts with the rough surface of the rock face into which the historic storage area was built. Suspended from a great height, the shimmering fabric dramatizes the space and its dark history.
Presented at The Art Factory, Paterson, New Jersey, May through October, 2013.
Collage of prints on acetate, silk thread, steel pins. Dimensions variable.
This installation was created expressly for a wall in a former textile mill in Paterson, New Jersey, a city established in 1792 as a center for the industrial manufacture silk and textiles.
Minimalist delicate, this wall collage freely interprets the "pre-industrial" process of silk production through secretions naturally produced by the Bombyx Mori silk moths to wind their protective cocoons. I made detailed drawings of male and female silk moths, printed them on acetate and cut each one out individually. The cut out moths were pinned to the wall using steel dressmaker’s pins. A length of pure silk thread trails from each pinned moth.
Presented to suggest entomological specimens, the Bombyx Mori moths and their precious secretions flutter and sway with the slightest breeze.
Transformation: Bombyx Mori was created for FABRICATIONS, an exhibition featuring six artists referencing materials and techniques from the textile industry: Gema Alava, Mike Asente, Daria Dorosch, Monique Luchetti, Christina Stahr, Ann Stoddard. Presented at The Art Factory in the former textiles mills in historic Paterson, New Jersey, September 28 to October 26, 2013.
In 2007 I was invited to present a year-long installation and exhibition at the Brauweiler Abbey, a site of immense historical and architectural importance located near Cologne, in Germany.
The largest and central piece I created for this installation was a translucent swath of metallic silk suspended in front of the central window of the medieval Chapter Hall and cascading onto its floor. Revealing and echoing the outlines of the circular window behind it, I traced a silhouette of expanding branches encircled by a wreath of roses using 22k gold-leaf and silvery aluminum leaf applied directly onto the diaphanous silk. Throughout the day the varying light entering the hall transformed the appearance of the piece.
While researching the history of the site, I was astonished to discover that a one-thousand-year-old mulberry tree, originally planted when the Abby was established in the 11th century, was still growing right outside the Chapter Hall windows. Mulberry leaves, the only food eaten by silkworms, are transformed into strands of silk and spun into cocoons. The founder Mathilde, who is recorded as having planted this the mulberry tree, hailed from Constantinople where silk manufacture had been perfected, I imagined that she wished to establish silk production here as a lucrative industry for the new abbey she established together with her husband Ezzo.
Inspired by this ancient tree, the history of the abbey, and the visual symbolism of medieval art, my installation realized Mathilde’s vision by imagining the light passing over the mulberry tree outside transforming its green leaves into white silk as it streams through the window.
In this installation piece, the gold leafed design painted onto the silk discloses similarities between the spherical branching forms of the mulberry tree and milk ducts. Hung before the window, the design aligns with the circular shape of the window and the outline tracery of the window’s glass. In ecclesiastical buildings, such round windows were known as “rose" windows, symbolic of Mary, whose depiction as a nursing mother was introduced to western Christian iconography from the Eastern Mediterranean at around the time of the abbey’s founding.
Acrylic on vellum
Installation of eight painted panels suspended before the windows in the hallway of the Schokoladenmuseum.
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