11/8/2014 is when this was written, but languished in the draft box until now.
I had hoped to visit Materiality: Paper, Wood, Cloth at the Robbin Gallery earlier in the month so I could encourage you all to visit, but life’s full schedule intervened, and I couldn’t get there until yesterday, its final day. Alis Olsen, Terri Power, and Kit Eastman pulled this show together based on their mutual processes of material driven art. Kit has a long history of lovely, finely crafted Katazome, or stencil dyeing on fabric. New to me were her pieces that incorporated embroidered texture. It is an addition I like.
I met Alis back in 1999 through the WARM Mentor Program and have felt an affinity for her work since then. Photographer turned sculpture, she works with wood often found on her property in Colorado, and plays with themes of humans’ impact on the environment, and trees in particular. She was eager for me to see her interpretations of quilts for this show after having seen my Japenese Beetle Lace: Birch, which also uses a quilt format. Alice cut squares of thin wood on which she had various fragments of vegetation, and connected them with twine.
All of the materiality of the work stimulated me, but I became especially intrigued with the work of Teri Powers. I’ve seen very little of her work and this work was quite different from what I had seen. My favorite piece in the show was Nature of Plasticity , described as found objects and acrylic boxes.
Her cattail fiber and clay monoprints titled Sedimentality 1 and 2 captured the visceral appeal for me that I find in the works of artists who use primitive materials, such as outsider artist James Castle and art brut star Jean Dubuffet.
Kudos to these three women for pulling together an interesting show in this little gallery off the beaten track. I hope you’ll get to see some of these pieces elsewhere.