Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fibre art at the Jane Sauer Gallery

Judith Content, Jade Cove

Seeing fibre so well represented at the Jane Sauer Gallery was a highlight of my time in Santa Fe.

Judith Content, Refuge

Perhaps best known is the work of Judith Content, who makes striking kimono-shaped pieces with her hand-dyed arashi-shibori. While Content began with traditional indigo dyes, she has more recently perfected the use of modern dyes on silk.

The patterning of the fabric is done by tightly wrapping it around a cylinder and binding it with cord before immersing it into a dye bath. The somewhat serendipitous result can evoke rainstorms and more.

Charla Khanna, Hearts and Flowers

Isn't she beautiful? Charla Khanna, based in Taos, New Mexico, is inspired by ancient fertility figures. She writes, "Since the beginning of time, people have made small representations of the human figure and imbued them with meaning. From the sacred to the profane, little figures have been invested with intent. Fertility goddess, voodoo doll, a child's simple toy – we are sometimes confounded by the evocative power of what might be simply a small crafted object." Each of her figures expresses a unique persona.

Cindy Hickok, Needle Art

Cindy Hickok is a studio artist who uses thread as her medium, the needle as her paintbrush, and the sewing machine as a tool. Her work is amazingly precise and detailed, and its subject often humorous and political.

Carol Shinn, Summer Meadow

Carol Shinn "is known internationally for photo-realistic machine-stitched images. Her embroidered scenes suggest a narrative without telling a specific story; the story instead becomes the one the viewer tells about his or her relation to the locale depicted." 

Shinn is a master of a technique I know as "thread-painting".

Lesley Richmond, Distant Forest 2

Finally, Lesley Richmond makes beautifully textured pieces that suggest forest growth. She writes, "The materials and processes with which I work simulate the growth forms of organic substances by changing the structure of the fabric, rather than imposing a design to the surface of the cloth."

Richmond works with cotton/silk fabric on a heat reactive base, with metal patinas applied.

What do these five exceptional artists have in common? Mastery of their materials and a strong aesthetic vision. 

Lesley Richmond, Distant Forest

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