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Art

Textiles and Board Games Inspire Large-Scale Murals that Span Sidewalks, Streets, and Staircases

June 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Baltimore-based artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn, known as Jessie and Katey, started creating murals because of the sheer accessibility of public art. The pair have always created work with a big visual impact, but as their designs grew they began to consider the possibility of working on the ground in addition to large-scale walls. Their site-specific floor works combine inspirations from both textiles and board games to create interactive walkways that encourage play and exploration. Jessie and Katey explain to Colossal that “the compositions are inspired by the viewer and how they might travel through the work. It’s really fun watching little kids interact with the floor murals—they always know what to do.”

The math behind both textile design and quilting is an aspect that the pair must consider when painting their large-scale works, and have started to inform how the pair begins each piece’s early designs. “We approach our large-scale work a bit like screen printers, even though we don’t screen print,” the pair explains. “Our process of execution is very methodical and we tend to think in planes or layers. This is probably a result of having to develop concepts and adapt them to larger spaces in a short amount of time. It’s interesting that painting murals has informed how we paint murals.”

This summer Jessie and Katey are working with the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation in Baltimore to create a site-specific mural for the Foundation’s new community space. The artists will also be painting a piece in Sacramento in collaboration with Wide Open Walls and later this fall will be working on an immersive installation incorporating recycled materials at Baltimore’s Goucher College, a rare opportunity for the pair to work in three dimensions. You can view more of Jessie and Katey’s work on their website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

Wearable Macramé Sculptures by Sandra de Groot Serve as Soft Headpieces and Armor

June 3, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Dutch artist Sandra de Groot of Atelier CHAOS creates soft sculptures that are displayed on the human body in the form of elaborate headpieces and ornate armor-like tops. The white macramé works are part of her collection titled kNOTs, which combine elements of craft, sculpture, and architecture in wearable works of art. Each of the ropes that composes her textile forms are made of high quality cotton that allows the pieces to maintain their inherent structure and shape. In a statement, de Groot shares, “the sculptures evolve according to an inner logic that is all mine. Only when the sculpture attains a textile form of attraction and becomes self-contained, I literally let go of the ropes.”

The artist studied at Minerva Art Academy and currently mentors intern artists and designers at her studio. You can see more of de Groot’s hand-knotted works, as well as her photography, on her website and Instagram. (via The Fiber Studio)

 

 



Art Craft

Forgotten Household Objects Cloaked in Needlepoint by Ulla Stina-Wikander

April 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Sweden-based artist Ulla Stina-Wikander (previously) continues her signature needlepoint interventions on domestic objects. Items traditionally associated with women’s housekeeping, like electric mixers and sewing machines along with hammers, wrenches, and axes, are cloaked in tightly fitting decorative designs. Stina-Wikander sources the needlepoint samples from flea markets and vintage stores, and is attracted to their connection with the now-anonymous people who made them. “These embroideries have been made by women and are often seen as kitsch and regarded as pretty worthless,” she states on her website. In using them in her interventions, the artist gives the abandoned textile works a new life. Explore more of Stina-Wikander’s work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Colorful Quilts by Bisa Butler use African Fabrics to Form Nuanced Portraits

February 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Three Kings”, detail

Artist Bisa Butler draws from an array of vibrant patterned fabrics to create portraits of everyday people. She eschews representational colors, favoring layered jewel-toned hues to form the skin of her Black subjects, and often groups figures together into strong silhouettes.

“I have always been drawn to portraits,” Butler explains in a statement on her gallery’s website. “I was the little girl who would sit next to my grandmother and ask her to go through her old family photo albums. I was the one who wanted to hear the story behind every picture. This inquisitiveness has stayed with me to this day. I often start my pieces with a black and white photo and allow myself to tell the story.”

Butler studied fine art at Howard University. In a video interview by BRIC TV, the artist explains that she began using fabric in her paintings in college, and then converted to quilting as a way to continue her dedicated art practice while protecting her young daughter from toxic materials and fumes.

The artist was born in Orange, New Jersey, and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is represented by Claire Oliver Gallery. You can see more from Butler on Instagram. (via #WOMENSART)

“Three Kings” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 95 x 72 in / 241.3 x 182.9 cm

“The Mighty Gents” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 67 x 78 in / 170.2 x 198.1 cm

“The Mighty Gents”, detail

“The Mighty Gents”, detail

“Anaya with Oranges”

“The Safety Patrol” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 90 x 82 in / 228.6 x 208.3 cm

“The Safety Patrol”, detail

L: “The Unconquerable Lyric” R: “I Want To Smell The Flowers”

“Black Star Family, first class tickets to Liberia” (2018), cotton, silk chiffon, satin, silk and lace, 79 x 85 in / 200.7 x 215.9 cm

 

 



Art

A Programmable 8-Bit Computer Created Using Traditional Embroidery Techniques and Materials

February 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

The Embroidered Computer by Irene Posch and Ebru Kurbak doesn’t look like what you might expect when you think of a computer. Instead, the work looks like an elegantly embroidered textile, complete with glass and magnetic beads and a meandering pattern of copper wire. The materials have conductive properties which are arranged in specific patterns to create electronic functions. Gold pieces on top of the magnetic beads flip depending on the program, switching sides as different signals are channeled through the embroidered work.

“Traditionally purely decorative, [the work’s patterns] defines their function,” explained Posch on her website. “They lay bare core digital routines usually hidden in black boxes. Users are invited to interact with the piece in programming the textile to compute for them.”

The piece is a reference to the historic similarity between textile creation and computing, for example the Jacquard loom being an important influence on the evolution of computing hardware. Posch is a researcher and artist with a background in media and computer science who explores the how technological seeps into the fields of art and craft, and Kurbak is an artist and designer who investigates the hidden politics of everyday spaces and routines. You can learn more about their work and partnerships here or here. (via Kottke)

 

 



Art

Overlapping Jewel-Toned Fabrics Fill the Nave of a Former Italian Church in a New Installation by Quintessenz

February 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Thomas Granseuer and Tomislav Topic, known as the art duo Quintessenz (previously), recently completed a new hanging fabric installation at CARME, an arts center located inside a former church in Brescia, Italy. Despite the numerous indoor and outdoor locations the pair have installed their signature semi-transparent fabrics, Carme Genesis is the first time they’ve worked within the architecture of a church. Due to the piece’s position at the center of the nave, guests can walk parallel to the hanging work, or cross directly underneath on the building’s first floor. Each perspective presents a new layering of colors, bringing a shifting dimensionality to the collection of flat, hanging textiles. Carme Genesis runs through March 3, 2019. You can see more of Quintessenz’s installations on their website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Craft

Crocheted Masks by threadstories Question How We Portray Ourselves Online

January 31, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Irish visual artist threadstories crafts wearable textile masks that are often full-coverage, obscuring her face with layers of multi-colored yarn. The works are made with traditional techniques, and inspired by everything from the art of basketweaving to Francis Bacon’s distorted figural paintings. Each work begins with a crocheted balaclava which the artist uses as a base to attach each segment of material.

Conceptually, the masks question how we portray ourselves online and how this is influenced by a rapid decrease in personal privacy. “The masks deny the viewer the full story of who the sitter is, echoing the curated or false personas we portray and view online daily,” threadstories tells Colossal. “The masks are mutations of our private and public selves.”

You can see a short film that more deeply explores the process behind threadstories’s practice and masks in this film made by Sixbetween, and view more of her textile works on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

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Out of it #mask #anticeleb #constantcontentcreator @threadstories

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