Currently at the Carlton College Perlman Teaching Museum is a dynamic show of four installations that are material and process driven. Curator Laurel Bradley has often chosen fiber forward shows that have caught my attention, including Gender Stitchery in 2007 with Ghada Amer and and Elaine Reichek. In 2011, A Complex Weave spoke again of stitching, gender, and identity and included work by Sonya Clark. The current show, Swing Low was curated with the nifty ceiling grid system in mind, that can be lowered and raised for elaborate installations.
Generating the most buzz that I’ve heard about the show, is Hottea’s The Collector,a prism of hanging yarn that artist Eric Rieger based on the digital color picker used in his job as a digital designer. This is an image I took of his image in his presentation, showing the installation in action. Those are bags of thread groupings that are waiting to be unleashed.
In the background is the work of Rebecca Hutchinson, The Structural Bloom. She uses handmade paper, porcelain, and paper clay to reflect her experiences of nature. She up cycles old clothing to make her paper.
Elizabeth Simonson, whose work mesmerized me at the Weisman where she constructed elaborate wall installations of cellophane tape and piano wires (in 2010), created Twilight from beads and monofilament. Inadvertently (according to her) working in systems, she intends to work with the processes of life. After my familiarity with her seemingly abstract work, this piece struck me as surprisingly reminiscent of folk art. I find myself falling prey to the contexts of a material, in this case beads, which I think were chosen simply for their power to refract light.
The fourth artist represented, Alison Hiltner, who describes herself as “an archeologist of science fiction”, made Survival Tactics, an interactive installation.” The piece uses LED lights and vibration motors that activates the hanging twines in response to viewers and each other. Conical groupings on the ceiling are intended to be a root colony responding to its world.
Take a lovely spring drive to Northfield. You’ll enjoy the show.
And, while your there, notice this piece hanging in the stairwell.