medium /// textiles/fiber arts




olek

olek

Yes, if I had orchestrated these projects I’d be dancing around in circles too! Yes, projects with an ‘S’. We’re looking at not one, but TWO houses completely covered in hot pink crochet. Um, when can I move in!? This is the absolutely beautiful work of Polish-born, New York based artist Olek. The first house is in Avesta, Sweden {first house in the post}, and there is another one in Kerava, Finland {second in the post}. These interventions aren’t just beautiful though, they’re incredibly important. Here are Olek’s words about this project, and the many people who helped make it happen:

“Our pink house is about the journey, not just about the artwork itself.  It’s about us coming together as a community.  It’s about helping each other … we proved that we are stronger together, that we can make anything happen together.  People from all walks of life came together to make this project possible.  Someone donated the house, another one fixed the electricity and @redheartyarns generously donated the materials.  And of course, most importantly, many women {including Syrian and Ukrainian refugees} joined us in the effort to make my dream a reality.

… Women have the ability to recreate themselves.  No matter how low life might bring us, we can get back on our feet and start anew… We can show everybody that women can build houses, women can make homes.  In 2015 over 21 million people lost their homes due to war and conflicts in their native countries. The pink house, our pink house, is a symbol of a bright future filled with hope.  Everybody should have a home.”

Yes, yes they should 

{via Colossal}





tasha lewis

tashalewis

Pearl encrusted, underwater beauties… so lovely in a strange, magical, ghostly mermaid kind of way. All of these haunting hand-sewn sculptures are from a series, titled “Full Fathom Five”, by New Jersey based artist Tasha Lewis. Here are her words about this project:

“With these works, I imagine the decay or “sea change” described by Ariel in Shakespeare’s The Tempest:

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

In these portraits, time on the ocean floor has replaced their eyes with pearls and thread and they are everywhere encrusted with beads.”

Sigh. Happy Monday.





“comfortable in my skin”

ERINMRILEY1

It’s rare for fibre arts to make you feel slightly {or very} uncomfortable, but that’s exactly what these beautifully woven tapestries do. I wrote about her for the first time in 2011, and five years later I finally get to talk to Brooklyn based artist Erin M. Riley… I had A LOT of questions for this very thoughtful, smart, and ridiculously talented woman. The combination of her chosen medium, and her subject matter is truly brilliant! Now, before we get started, I thought this description from her site was an excellent way to explain her work:

Riley has referenced found images online as well as her own photographs that address sex, social media and feminism. Influenced by the Instagram generation, her subjects have varied from iPhone nude selfies, screenshots of sexual positions and objects of womanhood or sexuality.

Yep, that sets up our conversation perfectly. You can listen right up there under Erin at the loom, or you can subscribe on iTunes. First up, a few of my favorites from her found photo weavings:

ERINMRILEY2

Oh girls… don’t do it! Risky behavior and bad decisions captured forever in woven fibre. Amazing. Next up, we touched on some of Erin’s earlier work that revolved around drunk driving:

ERINMRILEY3

It’s heartbreaking to think about the stories behind these found images.

Next, all of these pieces are from her “Daddy Issues” series. They’re beautiful, but make you cringe for these girls at the same time:

ERINMRILEY4

I love this series so much. I think it’s incredibly powerful and a really interesting way to slow down {literally in Erin’s case} and take a closer look at the fast-paced world of social media. Erin said she’d had some negative feedback on this work – granted, those were faceless comments from the internet – saying that she was “exploiting these women”. That was not her intention at all, so she switched from using found images, to self portraits. Talk about taking control … while being totally vulnerable at the same time. I think these pieces are absolutely stunning, and yes, these are her tattoos:

ERINMRILEY5

Gorgeous – even the shaving and tweezing. I absolutely love that she captures those very real moments too, instead of only choosing to document her body when perfect/posed. Again, brilliant and, oh, so vulnerable. I certainly couldn’t take those photos of myself… and then WEAVE them for the next month or two! Yeah, no. Speaking of which, I found these photos of Erin and her loom in action on her Instagram feed:

ERINMRILEY6

That final photo was captioned “nipple day” … and yes, it made me LOL as the kids say. And last, a close up of her truck tattoo that came up in the speed round:

ERINMRILEY7

We didn’t talk about gum, but how could I not include this photo!? Apparently this was late at night in the studio, the coffee was gone and all she had left was bubble tape. You do what you have to do, am I right?

Thank you so much to Erin for answering all of my questions and for being so open {and for admitting that she too cries like a baby during Grey’s Anatomy}. As always, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and big high fives to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. MassArt {Boston}
  2. Tyler School of Art {Philadelphia}
  3. Grey’s Anatomy
  4. She didn’t mention this! Erin’s showing at Brilliant Champion Gallery in Brooklyn till July 26, 2016

 





“castle in the car”

rachelcastle1

What!? Rachel Castle? Yep! I managed to get Sydney based artist, designer, entrepreneur, lover of wiener dogs… Rachel Castle to come on the podcast. I was so excited about this because Rachel has always been a bit of a creative enigma to me. She does so much, her work is so popular, and honestly I’m kind of intimidated by her success… success that has always seemed effortless from where I’m standing. I wanted to look behind the curtain, and I did! Turns out, she’s just a normal person. Who knew?! We cover everything from our favorite TV shows to her career in PR, over to dirty words in Australia that mean something completely different in Canada… and we did all of this from her car. For real. You can listen on the player right up there, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a few of her paintings {clearly you can see I like her floral pieces}:

rachelcastle2

Ahhh! So gorgeous! These beauties sell so fast… in fact I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them without a SOLD sign underneath. Next up, you can’t talk to Rachel Castle without asking her about her felt text pieces:

rachelcastle3

Yes! From KISS to Wham to a whole bunch of bananas in between … and yes, during the speed round I asked her preference between marmite and vegemite. Vegemite, obvi. Ok, and then of course there’s everything else she does outside of the paintings and felt pieces. Bedding, pillows, towels, sculptures, tea towels, bags, sweatshirts and more. Here’s just a teeny peek:

rachelcastle4

Great, right? And yes, she clearly has a background in branding and marketing because, whoa, everything on her site looks FABULOUS!

Speaking of fabulous, here’s a look into her beautiful, messy, colorful studio {most of these photos came from her lovely instagram feed}:

rachelcastle5

Yep. Love it. And thanks to her new-ish studio out of her house, her family won’t get stuck with pins that got left behind in the couch… hopefully.

So, sweet song lyrics and romantic sayings are great… but I have to admit, I kind of like the slightly ruder ones, as does Rachel:

rachelcastle6

Turns out, not everyone agrees… not one “DOUCHE” print sold. Shame, I think it’s hilarious! And then in the speed round I just had to ask… did she have a wiener dog that looks just like mine? Yep! Granted, she calls hers a “sausage dog”, because, Australia:

rachelcastle7

So cute! Oh, and that DAMN sweatshirt… yeah, we didn’t actually talk about that, I just really want it. That’s all.

Ok, and that’s that! Thanks so much to Rachel for talking to me for an hour in a very hot car, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend! xo

Other Links:

  1. Lucas Grogan
  2. Wayne White
  3. Roots

 





“nothing is a mistake”

nike1

Time-consuming, candy-hued, magical. That’s what comes to mind when I think of the work of this artist. Today I’m talking to LA based German artist Nike (pronounced Nee-ka) Schroeder… I have to add that because for years I thought her name was Nike… like, you know, Nike. It’s not. It’s Nike (Nee-ka). Ok, now that that’s out of the way, we can talk about her absolutely stunning work. Miles and miles of thread, porcelain, sometimes a bit of paint, and more thread. You can listen right up there, or subscribe on iTunes

First things first… one of my faves… this installation, titled 34°North 118°West :

nike2

Ah-mazing… and the photos don’t even close to do her work justice. I’ve seen them in person and they’re so so so beautiful. The way they move in the slightest of breezes… magical. Next, these pieces are from an older series, titled Fundamental Reports. This is what she was making when I first wrote about her work in 2012:

nike3

You can tell she reallllly wanted to start playing with that dangly thread! Speaking of which, this is the custom piece she made for interior designer/stylist Emily Henderson… here’s the installation of this colorful, ten foot beauty:

nike4

Ah! And there it is featured in Domino Magazine… not too shabby! I want to take full credit for this piece, because I introduced Emily to Nike’s work. Yep, this love affair started at The Fig House – a gorgeous event space in LA that Emily designed. She asked me to curate the art, and Nike was one of the ten artists I chose. Match. Maker. Just sayin’.

Next up, Nike’s latest show where she went back to some of her figurative work… this time with paint… porcelain, and of course, THREAD. This was shown with her primary gallery in LA, Walter Maciel Gallery:

nike5

So. Good. And now, brace yourself… Nike’s amazing, light-filled, downtown LA studio:

nike6

So. Much. Thread! And those windows {and of course, those great shoes}. Oh. Such beautiful work, and another episode that I loved. It never fails… in every single episode there is a moment when I get chills, and when Nike said “nothing is a mistake”  – that those layers and layers gives your work depth and wisdom because they have learned – yep I had a little shudder of excitement. Sigh. And with that, I will thanks to Nike for doing this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and as always thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next week.

Other links: Jack Fischer Gallery





spencer merolla

spencermerolla

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Cool… wait… is that… hair?”, you’d be exactly right. Crazy and amazing. This is the work of Brooklyn based artist Spencer Merolla. I’m going to let her explain what this is about and where it came from:

“This series takes the Victorian women’s practice of sentimental hairwork as its jumping-off point. For the Victorians, mourning was a very public act. Rather than a private emotion or an embarrassment, grief was a popular motif for the arts and fashion. What strikes modern sensibilities as mawkish and overly sentimental behavior was, at the time, considered proof of a person’s sincerity and morality. Ornamental hairwork, painstakingly crafted from the hair of loved ones, was a fashion that insisted the wearer embodied these virtues. This work plays with the tension between sincerity and emotional performance, imagining a contemporary practice in which moderns might socially engage with death’s physicality. The dissonance of the craft (when transposed onto the emotional and aesthetic landscape of our times) draws attention to the ever-shifting boundaries of permitted public display.

That the hair must be severed from the body to be worked in this fashion is a compelling aspect of the practice for me. With few exceptions, the provenance of antique hairwork is now unknown. As a result, it loses its essential quality of referring to a specific person, while still being a distinctively “personal” object. In a sense, the story of hairwork is a testament not of our capacity to remember our lost loved ones, but of our ultimate inability to hold onto them.”

Yep. Crazy and amazing.





lisa smirnova

LisaSmirnova1
LisaSmirnova2

Seriously. How beautiful is this? Wearable art, indeed. This is a beautiful combination … fashion and the embroidery work of Moscow based artist Lisa Smirnova. Here’s the full story:

“Artist At Home” –  A new collection from Olya Glagoleva’s eco-friendly brand GO in collaboration with Lisa Smirnova. Artist At Home is a story about the creative process of an artist which has been told through the language of textile. Fabrics used in the collection are cashmere, organic Indian hemp & cotton, 80’s denim jeans and vintage towels sourced from London’s famous Portobello Road; as well as plaid blankets from Flea markets in Wales. The collection tells the story of a painter whose studio and her home is a single space, where both home and work clothing mix together. The story of the creative process will captivate you and transport you to the artist’s parallel reality. Every garment is made only once, each decorated with hand embroidery in the unique style of Lisa Smirnova. The clothes themselves are pieces of art, lovingly created in a process that spans up to 100 hours each. In keeping with the GO tradition, every piece will be packed in a separate box made from recycled wood with detailed information about the item and a small book included with the full story of the creation.

Love.





maya slininger

MAYA_SLININGER

Holy macrame! Ok, my love for macrame might be dating me, but these gorgeous modernized wall hangings {does that make me sound younger?} are the beautiful, handcrafted work of California based artist Maya Slininger. My favorite piece is that final one… which happens to be in my online gallery {and there’s only one!} All of the other pieces are available in her shop.





textiles, treasures, and a new tribe

maryannemoodie1

Yes! I’m back after two very relaxing weeks by the fire, with snow falling outside. But, I didn’t sit around doing nothing, oh no… instead of eating chocolate in my jammies, I hopped on Skype and called Maryanne Moodie  – an Australian artist, who now lives in Brooklyn. Ok, I may have been wearing jammies and eating chocolate when I called her. I have been obsessed with her weaving work for ages, and now I’m even more impressed after hearing her totally inspiring self-taught story. And ps., now I want to be a weaver. You can listen to our conversation right up there, under Maryanne in her studio, or you can subscribe on iTunes. First up, a whole bunch of her stunning, vintage-inspired, colorful weavings:

maryannemoodie2

Gasp! So gorgeous. Doesn’t that last shot (from her amazing instagram feed) make you want to try weaving immediately? Yeah, me too. Luckily for us she sells starter kits, and teaches workshops all over the world! (ps. you can get the kits and buy spots in the classes via her Etsy shop. You can sign up for her enewsletter if you want to find out when/where the workshops are happening. Scroll down to the bottom of her home page and sign up there). I love that she does these classes! So fantastic, and yet another part of her amazing story (you have to listen if you’re not listening already… go right now!). Here are some of her kits and workshops in action:

maryannemoodie3

So fun! That last shot is in her Brooklyn studio where she works and teaches. Those windows are killing me. Speaking of which, this is the feather piece I mentioned:

maryannemoodie4

Beautiful! So, after procrastinating for almost a year, I finally warped up the loom (fancy expert weaver talk… I think) that Maryanne sent me last spring. I bought some yarn at my local thrift shop, and threw in some hot pink embroidery thread. Here’s where I am so far:

maryannemoodie5

A grey rectangle! Oh yes, it’s getting serious in here. So, what do you think? Are you ready to join the tribe…

maryannemoodie6

Me too! I’m so happy that I got a chance to talk to Maryanne. She is beyond lovely, so generous with her insider weaver information, and clearly very talented. Thank you for saying yes, Maryanne! Thanks also to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode and, of course, to you for stopping by to look/listen. There will be more art for your ear next weekend!





kate jenkins

katejenkins

Well, it is almost holiday season… crocheted canapés, anyone? This is the weird, wonderful, and ridiculously detailed crochet work of UK based artist Kate Jenkins. Sushi with “sew sauce”, and sequin covered shrimp… yep, this might be the perfect, light-hearted way to end the week. Have a lovely weekend, everyone!