Friday, June 13, 2014

No right way

I first saw a reference to El Anatsui on Kathy Loomis's blog Art With a Needle. Kathy is an accomplished art quilter who has a deep interest in visual art. She often reports on her visits to museums and shows and her reviews are both informative and refreshing.

El Anatsui is a Ghanaian artist who most recently has created tapestries from discarded metal such as milk tins and bottle caps. Follow this link to see a slideshow of his work. What intrigues me most is that he allows curators to arrange his tapestries as they would like. Every time a piece is shown it looks different. No way is the right way.

This reminds me of a piece of fibre art that took my breath away when I saw it in the Innovators and Legends show at the Schweinfurth Art Center last July. From a distance 'Scattered' by Jiseon Lee Isbara appeared to be random papers and notes applied to the wall, perhaps as they had originally been ordered on someone's desk. As I got closer I could see that each printed form and sticky note was actually created from fabric and thread. When I spoke with the museum director she told me that the artist does not specify the layout of the individual units. It is up to the curator to create what the viewer sees.

I am even more interested in finding out how each viewer would change what they see to suit their own needs and expectations. A friend recently referred to this concept lately as "fridge magnets". That's about right. All of this musing is related to some other observations I have made recently and to some small and large projects I have in mind. More in another post.

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