The inspiration for an artistic theme can come from anywhere - even from the studio space itself. This was the case with Three Walls, an exhibition by the Textile Arts Center. Eight Artists in Residence worked for nine months in studios which only comprised of three walls, meaning that their space was both divided and shared. Working individually yet communally, Jamie Boyle, Rhonda Khalifeh, Junyu Li, Lily Moebes, Meghan O'Sullivan, Cory Siegler, Hannah Whelan, and Chang Yuchen spent the months creating an immersive fibre art installation, exploring ideas of beauty, function, value and protection. While each of the artists has his or her own particular style, common themes and motifs appear throughout the exhibition, creating a sense of unity.
Featured in the exhibition are secret messages, handwoven into fibre sculptures. Functional art, like a wearable quilt, sits alongside more abstract forms, designed to inspire wonder and thought. Found objects and images bring pieces of the outside world into the artist's studio and are transformed into something new. The artists, through their work, continually explore the dynamics between function and value, maker and user, and art and craft.
The artists all come from varying backgrounds and have slightly different specialisations. For instance, Jamie Boyle, from Philadelphia, USA, works primarily in visual design components for performance. Recently, she collaborated with Jennifer Lacey and Wally Cardona on the visual installations for "The Set Up," (LMCC River to River Festival 2017). Another Artist in Residence, Junyu Li, was born in China and focuses on studying and manipulating materials. She is particularly interested in exploring the body, texture and the organic in her art. Irish-born Hannah Whelan, in turn, works in fibre sculpture and focuses upon the balance between form and function in her art.
Three Walls takes place from 20 -23 September 2018 at Gowanus Loft (61 9th Street Brooklyn, NYC, 11215 USA).
Blog post by Jessica Edney