beads

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Art Craft

Precisely Calculated Sculptural Embroideries by Devi Vallabhaneni Turn Beads and Sequins into Fields of Flowers

June 17, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Garden photographs: Todd Hellman

After a successful career in accounting and higher education entrepreneurship, Chicago-based artist Devi Vallabhaneni reconnected with her youthful passion for creativity and working with her hands. Vallabhaneni now brings together her twin interests in fashion and mathematics in her botanical beadwork. Using an algorithm she created in Excel, and working with haute couture materials like French sequins and beads, she creates dense fields of color and texture. “I innovated embroidery to be sculptural expressions that breathe new life into traditional materials, enabling them to live in unexpected spaces,” the artist explains.

Vallabhaneni works within the constraints of squares and rectangles, and more recently has moved away from abstraction and towards realism with her garden series. Inspired by fashion designer and garden enthusiast Hubert de Givenchy, Vallabhaneni situated her recent artworks in the Hollywood Hills, documenting each piece nestled amongst natural plants and flowers.

Over the past several years, the artist has delved into her creative practice with the same fervor she brought to her business career, and has completed coursework in weaving, textiles, embroidery, and apparel construction. Vallabhaneni is in the current cohort of artists in the Center Program at Chicago’s Hyde Park Art Center and is represented by Galerie Bettina von Arnim in Paris. The artist shares new work along with her wide-ranging visual inspirations on Instagram.

 

 



Art Craft

Beaded Images of Disease Explore the Impact of Colonial Trade

May 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"Bubonic Plague" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

“Bubonic Plague” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

In her series Trading, Saskatchewan-based artist Ruth Cuthand creates a visual metaphor that outlines how early settler/Native relationships influenced First Nation people’s living conditions and wellbeing in Canada. The colorful works are created from beads which were traded by European settlers for furs in the Americas. Although dazzling aesthetically, the work’s content reveals images of deadly viruses passed on by settlers as a result of this trade, such as influenza, bubonic plague, measles, smallpox, typhus, cholera, and scarlet fever.

“Beads are a visual reference to colonization; valuable furs were traded for inexpensive beads,” explains Cuthand, an artist of Plains Cree and Scottish descent, in her statement about the project. “On the plains beads were a valuable trade item, they replaced the method of using porcupine quills. Preparing the quills for decorating clothing was a long process that consisted of sorting the quills, preparing vegetal dyes and flattening the quill to sew down in patterns. Obviously beads were quicker to use, covered large areas and came in a wide variety of colors.”

Trading explores the tragic impact of European disease through the lens of one import. You can see all of the works in the series, and learn more about Cuthand’s practice, by visiting her website. The artist will also be a part of Beading Now!, a group exhibition at La Guilde in Montreal, Canada, which runs from May 16 to July 21, 2019.

"Influenza" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the Saskatchewan Arts Board

“Influenza” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the Saskatchewan Arts Board

"Measles" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

“Measles” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

"Bubonic Plague" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of Wally Dion

“Bubonic Plague” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of Wally Dion

"Smallpox" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

“Smallpox” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

"Typhoid Fever" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

“Typhoid Fever” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

"Whooping Cough" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

“Whooping Cough” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

"Yellow Fever" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the Mendel Art Gallery

“Yellow Fever” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the Mendel Art Gallery

 

 



Art

Colorful Strands of Thread and Beads Highlight the Contours of Human Skulls

February 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Jim F. Faure, who goes by Jim Skull, introduces his decades-long practice with his pseudonym. The Paris-based sculptor focuses exclusively on human skulls. Using innumerable strands of colorful thread, Murano glass beads, rope, and even porcupine quills, Faure creates an entirely new “skin” for the skeletal forms. Each skull’s covering also trails off into dramatic cascades that shape-shift depending on how the skull is displayed.

Faure transforms the surface of an object that often strikes fear into a visually enticing decorative object, inviting the viewer to study the divots and contours of our shared anatomical structure. In an artist statement, the sculptor cites his upbringing in New Caledonia in the South Pacific, followed by wide-ranging international travels in New Zealand, India, and Hong Kong as informing his fascination with the ritual and cultural aspects of the human experience. You can see more of Faure’s work on his website.

 

 



Art Craft

Embroidered and Beaded Coral Sculptures by Aude Bourgine Honor the ‘Lungs of the Oceans’ in Protective Glass

December 20, 2018

Andrew LaSane

French visual artist Aude Bourgine’s work is informed by her love of the environment and a sense of guilt for what humanity has done to the natural world. Using textiles, beads, and sequins, the artist creates displays that capture the beauty and fragility of coral for a series called “Poumons des océans,” which translates to “Lungs of the Oceans.”

Bourgine’s sculptures mimic the unique shapes, intricate textures, and vivid colors of living coral. Encased in glass bell jars, they are simultaneously isolated as objects of wonder, and also protected from harm caused by the hands of humans. “If we do not rapidly change our relationship with our environment, oceans will be dead by 2050,” the artist said in a statement on her website. “Their disappearance will entail a disastrous imbalance on all ecological, climate and human levels…We must take heed for this universal cause, which concerns each and every one of us.”

Bourgine has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Saint Julien Chapel in Le Petit-Quevilly in northern France from June 7 through 30, 2019. You can see more of Bourgine’s sculptural works of the sea on Instagram. (via The Fiber Studio)

 

 



Art Craft

Memories of Youth Interwoven With Thousands of Minuscule Glass Beads

October 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

“Bedside Table” (2011)

Artist David Chatt explores his past, family, and memories in all-white works created using found objects and minuscule white beads. Whereas earlier work was more purely decorative, like his colorful Breakfast Set (2004), over the last several years Chatt has simplified his color palette and plumbed the emotional depths of his life for more emotionally-engaged work.

In pieces created over the past several years, Chatt has drawn specifically from his personal and family history, selecting meaningful objects like a boombox from the early 1980s, the contents of his late parents’ nightstand, and the tools his mother used to create innumerable meals. Using glass beads and thread, the artist carefully covers each object, and he describes the act of covering as a means of both sealing off and protecting his memories. He shares with Colossal, “This process has the power to transform an object that, might as easily be relegated to land fill, into something precious and a record of a time, place or experience, something that encourages my audience to reflect on their own experiences and complete the story that I have begun.”

Chatt studied design at Western Washington University, Bellingham, in the late 1980s, where he recalls that a 6-foot-five male pursuing beadwork was not warmly embraced. Over the years, he has continued to refine his beadwork through post-secondary study. You can see work from Chatt in a group exhibition at Denmark’s Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in 2019, and in “A New State of Matter: Contemporary Glass” at Boise Art Museum in Idaho from November 3, 2018 to February 3, 2019, a group show which includes work from Steffan Dam (previously) and Amber Cowan (previously). (thnx, Diana!)

Detail, “Bedside Table” (2011)

Detail, “Bedside Table” (2011)

Detail, “Bedside Table” (2011)

Detail, “Bedside Table” (2011)

“If She Knew You Were Coming…” (2015)

Detail, “If She Knew You Were Coming…” (2015)

Detail, “If She Knew You Were Coming…” (2015)

“1982” (2015)

 

 



Art

Surreal Assemblages by Betsy Youngquist Combine Human Features with Beaded Animals

September 10, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Betsy Youngquist creates three-dimensional mixed media utilizing beadwork, crystals, and found doll parts like eyes, mouths, and hands. The elements merge to create surreal creatures that exist between human and animal, mixing animated facial features with long tentacles or hooves. For the works, Youngquist and her partner R. Scott Long first cut apart antique doll heads to determine what sort of animal the face might inspire. Next, Long sculpts a form for the sculpture and Youngquist adheres an assemblage of glass beads, stones, and eyes.

“History and the energy of times past are contained in old materials, in addition to bead color and bead variations that you can’t find among contemporary beads,” the artist explains about her decision to use vintage beads in her mosaic-like pieces. “While playing in my studio I love the intuitive dance of selection, when everything starts humming along and I know which bead choices to make. Beads as a material are ancient and primal. I love that about them. There is also definitely a meditative quality to working with beads.”

Youngquist runs the New Orleans-based Gallery Two with fellow artist Ann Marie Cianciolo, and has work in the exhibition Season of the Surreal at Patina Gallery in Sante Fe, New Mexico from November 2 and through December 2, 2018. You can see more of her beaded sculptures on her website and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Glass Beaded Sculptures by Valérie Rey Bring a Luminous New Dimension to Discarded Wood

June 18, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Gelée Royale" (2017), Wood and glass, 16 x 11 x 15 inches

“Gelée Royale” (2017), Wood and glass, 16 x 11 x 15 inches

Costa Rica-based artist Valérie Rey combines fallen segments of branches and logs with glass beads to bring a luminous new life to found natural forms. Innumerable glass baubles in colors of orange, gold, green, and black either completely encrust the found material or are sprinkled over its exterior, imitating a natural appearance similar to a cracked geode. ​You can see more of her nature-inspired sculptures on her website and Instagram.

Detail of "Gelée Royale" (2017), Wood and glass, 16 x 11 x 15 inches

Detail of “Gelée Royale” (2017), Wood and glass, 16 x 11 x 15 inches

"Effervescence" (2016), Wood and glass, 14 x 12 x 9 inches

“Effervescence” (2016), Wood and glass, 14 x 12 x 9 inches

Cervelle de Moineau (2017), Glass, 13 x 7 x 7 inches

“Supernova”

“In The Sky With Diamonds” (2017), Wood and glass, 6 x 6 x 14 inches

“Après la Pluie”

Detail of “Après la Pluie”

“Angel Virus” (2015), Wood and glass, : 18 x 9 x 9 inches

"Black Rainbow" (2017), Wood and glass, 8 x 8 x 5 inches

“Black Rainbow” (2017), Wood and glass, 8 x 8 x 5 inches

“E2” (2017), Wood and glass, 7 x 7 x 7 inches

 

 

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