I finally got out and about and visited some art this morning, after hanging out and stitching over coffee at my favorite cafe. First stop was Locks Gallery to see the Microfibers show, and more specifically to see Caroline Latham-Stiefel's installation. I wasn't allowed to take photos, unfortunately. The image below is from the website and shows her wall piece, Sinew. Caroline generally works with pipecleaners, fabric scraps, and pins, constructing curtains and complex systems of geometric forms. I believe she uses the pins to attach the scrap patches into their pipecleaner windows because it's important that the work be recyclable/reconfigurable. However, I was far more interested in the areas within the piece Sinew where she incorporates stitching/binding of the scraps to the structure and the various 3-dimensional sewn constructions sans pipe cleaner armature. The pins distract me whereas the sewing enchants me and makes me see the form, the structure, and the materials in a more fused manner. I'm glad I caught this show before it closes (tomorrow I think), and it was great to see more of Caroline's work. We both exhibited with Landmarks Contemporary Projects back in 2008 doing installations in historic houses.After Locks, I did some retail therapy and bought myself a new winter coat so I can brave my cold bike rides to school this semester. I then made my way back to Northern Liberties and stopped in at Bambi at the Piazza. I had been told that I HAD to see this show of cut-paper work by Sarah Steinwachs. This has got to be the best work I have ever seen at Bambi!! Most of the pieces are small, multilayer compositions of cut paper and mylar, often using graph paper as a foundation, and mostly encased in plexiglass box frames. Photos do not do these pieces justice, as the photos flatten the images. The one above has about 6 layers- a frosted mylar window, shiny glassine folded and cut with 1 inch circles, threaded paperpunched sequins shifting angles, a densely but finely punched layer with the divets pushed forward and back, and then other color layers in the background. It's a labyrinth of shape and surface and color that captures your eyes and doesn't let go! The one below is larger and appears even more dense due to the contrasting patterns.
In her artist statement, Sarah wrote about being inspired by the various cities she's lived in around the world. There was also a line about beauty and starting with the perfection of the grid, and holding the memory of the perfect within the imperfect. I'm paraphrasing here, but it was lovely. The show closes January 31st, so there's still a little time to go visit it.