Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More Exhibit Photos

Our reception was pretty well attended, as you can see by the crowded hallway above, and we got many positive comments from guests personally and in their comments in the guest book.  It's always fun to hear what people have to say about this art form.  Many times, people are surprised to see what we're capable of doing with fabric and stitch.

Speaking of that, I was completely blown away by Natalya Aiken's piece in the show, below.  Natalya often uses the architecture of her home city of St. Petersburg, Russia as subjects for her art and this one is titled "Vladimir Cathedral."  The two things that immediately strike you on viewing it is (1) the amount of handwork in the piece, which is (to me) the equivalent of brush strokes in an oil painting - almost a fingerprint identifying the artist; and (2) the loose threads behind the cathedral which make up the background sky as well as the walls of the building.

Here are some close-up shots so you can get a better idea of what I'm talking about.

It looks like Natalya constructed the piece by placing a large swash of loose threads down on top of a background fabric or fabrics, then layered tulle over the threads and stitched in the main outline of the cathedral with black thread on her machine.  She told me she stitched over a paper sketch or print of the cathedral and removed most of the paper after.  Then she did all the hand stitching.  I love the way the quality of her stitching, both by machine and by hand, seem spontaneous, like a sketch (look at the machine stitched border around the edge - it looks like a line sketched with a pen or pencil).  Even the hand stitching looks like it was done quickly, like a simple brushstroke.  But appearance is deceiving, I think.  The total effect is monumental, like the cathedral itself.  There is great movement, texture and detail, but also whimisical fun and serendipity.  I think it's breathtaking!

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