At the Shepard Gallery I got to go see a Gallery installation named FABRICation. A quick little side not about my own personal background, a majority of my family on my mother’s side are big time quilters. So much so that my mother has been published in magazines and produced quilting designs that go on to become used worldwide. That being said I was highly intrigued by this installation and what could be done in regards to fabric. I went in expecting to see high quality quilts and patterns that would amaze even the most skills quilter, but that wasn’t exactly the case. These artists used historical textiles that varied in the process of being sown together or creating multiple layers, what a quilter might call applique (ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric are sewn or stuck onto a large piece of fabric to form pictures or patterns.)
Eric Castellan and Susan Iverson’s works caught my eye most. Castellan, an independent artist that lives and works in Ashville, NC and Iverson, a retired professor from the Craft/Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University combine found materials and put them together to become wall drapes. Castellan’s piece titled Hang was done in 2011. Its materials include acrylic, latex, fabric and thread. The acrylic and latex are painted all over the fabric making the work extremely busy making your eyes bounce back and forth as you try to decipher what is going on. Finally is saw what appeared to be a dancer from what looked like Polynesia. Once I saw the dancer the rest of the image came into focus as I saw she was in a building with streamers running across the ceiling beams. After initial confusion this abstract work became very enjoyable to look at.
Iverson’s work Beyond was a woven tapestry of wool and silk created in 2012. It had three tapestries hanging in a row they almost looked to be the exact same pattern, but each had minor differences making them an individual piece of art that collaborated to the overall whole piece. Compared to the more flamboyant pieces in the room these three tapestries stand out because of how calm they were. That is why is was able to notice the minor differences between the three because it allowed your eyes a chance to rest compared to everything else around them. Though one piece had your eye frantically trying to find out what it was looking at and the other allowed your eyes to slow down and admire the craftsmanship they both had their place in the gallery. It was easy to see that it took skill to be able to transforms textiles and make comparable to paintings that one would normally find in an art gallery.