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Art Craft

Delicate Crocheted Patterns Splice and Embellish Susanna Bauer’s Dried Leaf Sculptures

November 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a stitched leaf

“Sum of the Parts” (2022), magnolia, oak, cottonwood, eucalyptus, plane tree, beech leaves, 38 x 34 centimeters. All images by Art Photographers, © Susanna Bauer, shared with permission

Vintage lace and the intricate innards of cells influence the thread components of Susanna Bauer’s crocheted works. The German artist, who lives in the U.K., stitches leaves she’s found, washed, and dried, a painstaking process made more laborious by the inherent fragility of the material. “Taking time beneath trees, gathering leaves, contemplating their shapes, imperfections, and details lies at the basis of my process. Along with this quiet gathering, stories form, dialogues between leaves emerge, reflections on time and change and interpersonal connections,” Bauer shares.

Many of the artist’s recent works are on view as part of her solo show Gathering Stories, which translates those conversations and themes into three-dimensional pieces. Similar to her earlier series, this new collection is diverse in species and crocheted patterns. In “Sum of Parts,” various segments from six different trees are spliced with natural cotton thread, while “Blossom” surrounds a single magnolia leaf with fibrous filigree.

Gathering Stories is on view through January 14, 2023, at Le Salon Vert in Carouge, Geneva. You can find more of her work on her site and Instagram.

 

A photo of four leaves with a crocheted border

“Emergence l” (2022), magnolia leaves, cotton thread, 50 x 50 x 5 centimeters

A photo of a leaf with a crocheted border

“Blossom” (2022), magnolia leaf, cotton thread, 30 x 30 centimeters

A photo of three leaves with a crocheted border

“Haven” (2022), magnolia leaves, cotton thread, 42 x 47 centimeters

A photo of a leaf with a crocheted border

“Time (Spring 22)” (2022), oak leaf cotton thread, 30 x 30 centimeters

A photo of two leaves with a crocheted border

“Sharing Dreams” (2022), magnolia leaves, cotton thread, 30 x 30 centimeters

A photo of a leaf with a crocheted border

“Emergence l” (2022), magnolia leaves, cotton thread, 50 x 50 x 5 centimeters

Four photo of leaves with a crocheted details

Top left: “Thrive lll” (2022), magnolia leaf, cotton thread, 30 x 22 centimeters. Top right: “Breathing lll” (2022), magnolia leaf, cotton thread, 38 x 28 centimeters. Bottom left: “Symmetry” (2022), magnolia leaf, cotton thread, 38 x 38 centimeters. Bottom right: “Calibration,” (2022), magnolia leaf, cotton thread, 52 x 42 inches

A photo of a leaf with a crocheted center

“Ginkgo Circle lll” (2022), ginkgo leaf, cotton thread, 21 x 17 centimeters

 

 

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Art Craft Design

Deceptively Flat Weavings by Artist Susie Taylor Interlace Threads into Playful and Nostalgic Patterns

October 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Susie Taylor, courtesy of Johansson Projects, shared with permission

Patterns we might typically associate with childhood—the plaid vinyl lawn chairs of family barbecues, thick pink, brown, and white stripes of Neapolitan ice cream, and the simple ruled markings on notebook paper—become vibrant woven tapestries in the hands of artist Susie Taylor. Nostalgic in aesthetic and vivid in color palette, the Bay Area artist and textile designer interlaces cotton and linen threads to create flat weaves that appear almost three-dimensional in complexity, with the mathematically-inclined motifs and subtle shifts in color embedded within the pieces themselves.

The fiber compositions draw on the traditions of Bauhaus and Black Mountain College through a boldly playful lens and “include basic shapes like blocks and stripes to address pattern, symmetry and color interaction and the notion that ordered systems can still flirt with chance, interruption, and improvisation,” the artist says.

Taylor’s works are on view through October 27 as part of Origin Stories at Johansson Projects in Oakland. Explore more of her intricate designs on her site.

 

 

 



Art

Thread Grids by Laura Fischer Encase Stones in Exquisitely Knotted Webs

July 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Laura Fischer, shared with permission

Precision is at the core of Laura Fischer’s practice. Using cotton and linen threads in neutral tones, the Bellingham, Washington-based artist sheaths smooth stones in impeccably exacting grids. She forms the tiny squares and rectangles with a series of knots, mimicking the loom weaving process but working directly on the natural material. Paired together, the sculptures are finished with a twisting rope wrapped around the circumferences and suspended in staggered positions.

A few of Fischer’s pieces are available on her site. Keep an eye on Instagram for shop updates. (via swissmiss)

 

 

 



Art Craft History Photography

Embroidery Adds Textured Narratives to the Subjects of Flore Gardner’s Stitched Photographs

April 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Flore Gardner, shared with permission

With a background in medicine, Edinburgh-based artist Flore Gardner fosters a creative practice that explores the body and its untapped potential. She works in an array of mediums from printmaking and ink-based illustrations to mixed-media installations and fiber, pushing the limits of human anatomy into the realm of the absurd or subversive. No matter the material, each work centers on a primary interest in drawing and utilizes the same techniques and principles that fill the pages of her notebooks.

One of Gardner’s series, titled (Her)Stories, overlays vintage, black-and-white photographs largely sourced from flea markets with vibrant stitches. As the name suggests, the collection focuses primarily on women, and the embroidered elements obscure faces with dense patches, add dimension to a subject’s body, or highlight their figures by drawing a contrast to the backdrop.

Revitalized with color and texture, the portraits and posed group shots take on a new narrative with the artist’s thread drawings and “modify the ‘reality’ of the photos, revealing hidden things underneath (eg. unseen naked bodies under wedding clothes, invisible haloes, hidden thoughts) or on the contrary hiding certain details (threads shroud the inevitably dead figures or ‘ghosts’).” She explains further:

The needle is an instrument for hurting and for healing—a photograph (or human skin) can be damaged by its treatment and simultaneously repaired/recreated. This needle makes hundreds of little holes in each photograph, once a precious object, and these, along with the threads, transform the flat, smooth, untouchable photographic support into a relief surface, which can be touched and even, in a certain way, read like Braille.

Gardner currently is working on a publishing project funded by Creative Scotland and a collaborative performance that will be presented at Edinburgh Fringe this August.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Classic Cartoons Suspend Tense Moments of Sabotage in Embroidery

April 5, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Performance Anxiety.” All images © Peter Frederiksen, shared with permission

From Looney Tunes and Mickey Mouse to The Simpsons, cartoons have a long history of imagining the most ridiculous, chaotic moments possible and dramatizing them into absurdity. The animated characters and their hijinks are rooted in humor, and yet, as artist Peter Frederiksen recognizes, they also have a more sinister side. “Violence is a shorthand for conflict, confrontation, fears,” he tells Colossal, noting that many iconic cartoons were created post-war or have been produced during times when “violence was in the ether… I don’t put guns in embroideries because I like guns. I put guns in embroideries because they’re an escalation. They’re overcompensation. They’re anxiety and fear.”

Frederiksen has spent the last few years zeroing in on the antagonism in these classic scenes and preserving their short-lived nature in dense embroideries. He renders knives piercing a closed door, tied bedsheets pulled taught as they drop out of a window, and hands twisting into knots while attempting to play the piano. Tightly stitched onto a canvas with a machine, the works are true to their original source in color and style, although Frederiksen precisely crops each scenario from its surroundings.

Decontextualized and infused with action, the nostalgic works are simultaneously familiar in their imagery while unrecognizable in the scope of a larger narrative. “They tell a story in as ominous a way as I’m aiming for, maintaining the sort of tension I’m building with a scene,” he says. “I also enjoy thinking about rendering these tight little scenes as a mirror to what I’m physically doing, using my hands in small little ways to make something happen.”

The Chicago-based artist has a number of shows scheduled for this year, including at Postmasters Roma in May and a solo exhibition at New York’s Massey Klein in September. Until then, follow his work on Instagram. (via The Guardian)

 

“Set Up For Failure”

“Won’t Hold Forever”

“You Don’t Need a Reason”

“Some Time Outside”

“The Trap Has Been Set”

“What Have I Done?”

“It’s Exactly As Bad As You Think”

“All My Suspicions Confirmed”

 

 



Art Craft

Vibrant Embroideries by Hillary Waters Fayle Enhance the Natural Beauty of Preserved Leaves

March 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

Photos by David Hunter Hale, © Hillary Waters Fayle, shared with permission

Favoring thread and found materials, Richmond-based artist Hillary Waters Fayle (previously) works at the intersection of textile traditions and botany. “Stitching, like horticulture, can be functional,” she says, “a technical solution to join materials/a means of survival. Or, both can be done purely in service of the soul, lifting the spirit through beauty and wonder.”

Fayle’s practice embodies this sentiment with elaborate and colorful embroideries applied to dried leaves. Lined with brown edges, the perfectly preserved surfaces become more fragile as they age, and the threaded embellishments enhance the relationship between the natural and fabricated. “There is a sense of magic in being able to work with such an unexpected and exquisite material,” the artist says. “The tension in the thread, the type of stitching, the needle, the species, and the season are just some of the factors that may influence what happens.” Recent pieces include ornate networks in blue on ginkgo, floral motifs on eucalyptus, and red dots on golden leaves.

This summer, Fayle’s works will be on view at Quirk Gallery in Charlottesville, Virginia, and this fall at Asheville’s Momentum Gallery. Until then, explore more of her stitched works, in addition to leafy cutouts and large-scale murals, on Instagram.

 

 

 

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