Showing: December 5 – January 31
Artist Talk: Saturday January 13, 4:30 – 6:30pm
Craft Rebels is a group show featuring resident and local artist from the Bay Area utilizing traditional crafting methods to make artworks that make a statement about current events and social issues.
In the realm of ceramics, anything is possible. The medium of clay, a divine material out of which the first human was said to be shaped, allows any sort of form or figure to come to life. My work pushes the boundary between reality and imagination, bringing to life organisms which no zoologist or biologist has discovered before. Inspired by scientist Ernst Haeckel’s illustrations of hitherto-unknown and seemingly fantastical sea creatures for audiences over a century ago, I forge ahead through the frontier of undiscovered creatures of another dimension.
My influences range from ancient Greek mythology to Eastern philosophies of spiritual transformation. I am interested in depicting the human experience using charged symbolism through which anyone can immerse themselves into a myriad of metaphorical possibilities. Through the back door of the subconscious, I find escape routes from the mundane. I tap the origin of my dreams to extract the elixir of a new understanding and a bright future.
I call myself a sculptural basket maker. I am known for my innovative, trans ordinary vessels made with every-day, common materials, using traditional basketry techniques in a non-traditional way. With a visual language, I tell a story using re-purposed, re-contextualized materials, commenting on overconsumption of material goods, societal excess and throwaway consumerism. My work references familiar life and our relationship with our urban environment.
Inspired by spiritual and mythological elements of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions as well as patterns and forms from Armenian rugs, I have worked to create a systematic language to highlight our rich and colorful history, and also as an expression of catching glimpses/of seeing through historical time. Armenian & Oriental rugs have ornamented fields and geometric patterns, containing potent symbology and delineating sacred space and magical windows. Sumerian Goddess Inanna was called Ornament of Heaven. My sculptures are inspired by these ornaments of antiquity, and my sensing of invisible realms. When lit, the metal sculptures glow, & shadows add intricate layers of shimmering chiaroscuro, allowing articulation of luminous subtle dimensions of light. They may allow passage beyond our context of current & historic pain into spaces of hope and healing. My wearable sculptural works serve not only as objects but also as extensions of the body and mind, and indication of our evolution. My practice relies on the meditative practice of knitting, crochet and weaving. My artwork seeks to translate these traditional forms of women’s work into a contemporary practice with industrial materials such as copper, bronze and silver wire as well as constructed experiential spaces.
Since the 2016 Presidential election, I, along with millions of other Americans, have been very distressed at the unleashed hatred, “alt- facts” and assault on the environment, social justice and women’s rights. I participated in the Women’s March in D.C. and was inspired to join millions of activists to: Resist unjust policies, Persist in demands and making our voices heard, and Disrupt when necessary.
Women often have used quilts as a vehicle for social and political activism. Two examples are the use of quilts in the Underground Railroad to shepherd runaway slaves to safe places and the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to honor people who died of AIDS and to raise awareness of the devastation of the disease.
“Distress II” is my response to the angst I have been feeling since the 2016 election. Meetings with my fellow textiles artists could not continue until we talked through our anger, fears and sense of hopelessness. As a result, a group of us organized a “Nasty Women” art show to raise money for immigrant rights organizations. It was a small, but important, way to use our “craft” for political protest.
The greatest lesson a woman should learn is that since day one she’s had everything she will ever need within herself. She is made up of the sun and the stars, the sky and the ocean- filled with strength and power and softness and magic. The entire universe is wrapped up inside of her from the very beginning- it is the world that convinces her otherwise. With the help of traditional craft methods I strive to explore the world we live in. As an artist and a woman I am learning to find my voice, and realizing the beauty of what it means to simply exist as a woman in a world that teaches us that doing so is the opposite of beautiful; That teaches us we are weak and that feminism is a dirty word. Everything needed to live a powerful existence is within ourselves. This series reflects on the current feminist revolution, and the light and dark it is bringing with it. It is time we find our places and use our voices and exist as surely as the sun and the stars in the sky.