Laure Drogoul sets up for an evening of "productive" music. Ellipse gallery visitors, hard-core knitters and new-comers alike, had an amazing time contributing to Drougoul's newest project.
Thank you to everyone who came!
Educational Programmer, Lisa Marie Thalhammer (left) and Laure Drogoul (right) are knitting while Thread as the Line artist Sabrina Gschwandtner (center) films in Super8 film (!!!)
A knitting orchestra in progress. Drogoul organizes the participants in a traditional knitting circle, providing them with needles equipped with tiny microphones. Working from the same pattern or “score”, the knitters create recordings of scarves or mittens as manifestations of each performance
Read more about the story behind Drogoul's crafty music in the City Paper online!
Knitters hanging out by Sabrina Gschwandtner's installation, KnitKnit Sundown Salon. The video highlights her limited edition magazine and newly published book, "KnitKnit: Profiles and Projects form Knitting's New Wave".
Above: Thread Stories, a repaired and preserved a quilt, hangs beside her book Alabama Stich. The repaired and preserved vintage quilt illustrates the bond between our past, our present and future. This work serves as canvas for oral histories – collected from local textile workers over the last eight years.
Born in Florence, Alabama, Natalie Chanin re-established her studio in Alabama after 22 years of living and working abroad as a costume designer. She earned a degree in Environmental Design from North Carolina State University and currently has her hands full working as a designer, manufacturer, consultant, stylist, filmmaker, mother, artisan, cook and collector of stories. Chanin's past clothing line, Project Alabama, was sold in national and international retail stores. She recently founded Alabama Chanin, where artisans from local Alabama communities contribute their talents constructing clothing, home furnishings and accessory designs by combining new, organic and recycled materials.
Above: Anila Rubiku speaks about her Mastering Freedom series. Born in Albania, Rubiku left her home country in 1994 to study at the Brera Academy in Milan. This new beginning inspired her to reexamine many aspects of her life, including her identity as an Albanian female artist, her core values and roots.
In 2004, Rubiku began using thread as a way to reconnect with her homeland. She writes, "Embroidery is a simple and humble medium practically forgotten in Albania, but which has for generations been a part of my roots and family history, which is made up of women and feminine sensibility in a society where men call all the shots."
Thread as the Line exhibits her recent work, Mastering Freedom, which depicts women in designer dresses boldly standing on unbridled horses. As if to comment on a woman's place in a male dominated world, these women seek to tame the "male power" in the stereotypical feminine way. Her intricate embroideries represent freedom, perserverance and aspiration - things Rubiku has experienced as a foreigner in Italy and a foreigner to her homeland.
Anila Rubiku’s work appears courtesy of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington, DC.
Above: detail of Graham Childs' Stadium 1, along with the artist explaining its historical significance. Born in Manhattan, Kansas, Childs lives and works in Washington, DC. He recently graduated with a MFA from American University. His work deals with the societal expectations of gender distinction. Childs confronts, accepts and takes ownership of stereotypical gender roles by combining the elegant craft of embroidery and the grace of the artifact. “My work is a celebration; it becomes icons of innocence and strength struggling against time to stay frozen in memory and is about rejoicing the truths that we all share as human beings.” In The Thread as a Line, Graham exhibits “cardhouses” made from original 1989 Giant’s baseball cards. 1989 is the year that a major earthquake struck in the middle of the World Series game at the Giant’s home, Candlestick Park.
Above: Brece Honeycutt explains the meaning of her larger-than-life skeins of original homespun. Born in Hickory, North Carolina, Honeycutt makes history-based drawings, sculptures and installations. She received an undergraduate degree in Art History from Skidmore College and a MFA in sculpture from Columbia University.
Above: Frank Higgins watches Sabrina Gschwandtner's "KnitKnit Sundown Salon" video installation. Her book, "KnitKnit: Profiles and Projects from Knitting's New Wave" brings together a community of 27 knitters under an expanded definition of what art is. Her work in The Thread as the Line explores themes of tactility and community while engaging the spaces between craft and art, hobbyist and professional, artist and curator.
Gschwandtner is a New York City based artist who works with film, video, photography, performance, sewing, crochet and knitting. She has a BA in Art/Semiotics from Brown University, an MFA from Bard College and has exhibited internationally. In 2002 she founded Knitknit, a limited edition arts journal dedicated to the intersection of fine art and handcraft. Since then, she has curated numerous shows and events around performative and political textiles, effectively creating a community of artists, artisans and crafters whose work defies categories of fine art or craft.
Above: Valerie Molnar talks about her site specific installation, They're Kissing Again. Ohio native, Valerie Molnar lives in Richmond, Virginia and will complete her MFA in painting at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in May 2008. Deviating from using paint as a medium, Molnar’s main focus has become knitting. Using the wall as her canvas, she still paints “overlaps” of color on her tacked-up knitted compositions. "The way these two constructs work together as a team is that the brightly colored images and forward scale grab the attention and the familiar and non-threatening nature of the material (yarn and knitting) pulls people in closer, whoever they might be… Ideally the two, paint and knitting, should flux between being inseparable and separate. ”
Above: Natalia Blanch's Feu Rouge installation over her steel filing cabinet installation of Minimum Drawings. Born in Argentina, Blanch earned her BFA from the National University of Córdoba in 1996 and an MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2000. She now lives in Grenoble, France.
Blanch exhibits internationally and has recently been featured in the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. In The Thread as the Line, her vintage steel filing cabinet contains a collection of 4"x6" cards. Using various papers, paint, thread and photographs, she created her Minimum Drawings. "The first drawings (first three months of work) are notes about the Iraq war. The following ones are representations of everyday events that impress me and that belong both to my own personal reality and to the world’s." The viewer is welcome to go through the filing card box and examine them.
Above: detail of Megan Whitmarsh's Art Museum. Originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Whitmarsh has a MFA from the University of New Orleans and a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute. She has recently exhibited in the United States, Spain, Belgium, Iceland, Canada, Korea, Germany and Switzerland. She lives in Los Angeles, a place where nature and the constructs of man collide with rawness as buildings, trash and pavement confront the sandy dry Southern Californian soil.
In her sewn canvases, Whitmarsh transforms, “the multiplicity of ordinary life into magical yet accessible moments. My work displays scenes of fantasy characters existing amongst the detritus of the modern world.’’ Her brightly colored embroideries tell stories through the cast of tiny schoolchildren and yetis. The spare backgrounds are dotted with iconic landscape features such as volcanoes, caves, crystals and forests.
Work appears courtesy of New Image Art, Los Angeles, California.
Bernstein's sculptural work envelopes the skill of creating life-like renditions of human anatomy parts that explore the borderline between the beautiful and the grotesque. “Inner organs are often presented as a subject of horror or perhaps clinical interest but organs are as beautiful as the contours of our exteriors.” Using organic materials and needlepoint, she depicts components of the digestive, circulatory and muscular systems. She explains that these materials, “have been denigrated as craft media, rather than media of fine art. I reclaim these marginalized mediums by using them to depict things that have traditionally been displayed in medical academies rather than ladies' dressing rooms.”
Above: Arlington's own Matt Nelson and detail of Marshmallow Peep Real Peep. Nelson grew up in Arlington and entered art school at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 1990. While studying painting and printmaking at VCU, Matt worked with fabric simultaneously. He started working on his first two-dimensional sewn piece in 1998. A love of American folk art and quilts led him to experiment “painting” with fabric, thus crafting his first 10" x10" square. Two years later, Nelson completed a quilt of 30 squares featuring images pulled from the worlds of music, pop culture and his own life.
Thank you Clarendon Strings for performing opening night!