Spread throughout many rooms in the gallery-home of Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown, co-owners of Browngrotta Arts, is an exhibition that brings together more than fifty thought-provoking international textile artists and fibre sculptors. Just once a year, for ten days, the couple welcome visitors into their home to see the newest and most important textiles artworks around, in a setting that combines the curated and exclusive feeling of an art fair booth with the flair and creative vision of an interior designer’s showroom.
This year’s exhibition Art + Identity: An International View is a survey of identity and art across the globe, and includes works by artists from North America, South America, Europe and the UK, Asia, and Africa. The identity that each artist explores may be personal, political, social or cultural; reflecting the influence of a hometown, country of birth, a place visited, or a region whose art has made an impression. These varied narratives raise questions about how culture, geography, and personal experience relate to the universality of art.
Several artists have created works of silk, linen, viscose, steel, cotton, coconut fibres and horsehair. The Weaver Marianne Kemp has created a wall-mounted piece that is an intriguing and cheerful play of colourful horsehair over a baffled graphite ground stretched on an aluminium frame. Art + Identity takes a positive and inspiring look at the richness of the contemporary textile arts world, and this year’s exhibition catalogue includes an essay penned by textile writer, Jessica Hemmings.
Guest post by Rebecca Shea @rcsfa