Sunday, June 27

From the Tongue part deux

Here's another set of images from the exhibit "From the Tongue" at Lotus Thursday night. This time the common thread is "Sampler". Considering that Bren Ahearn's "Sampler #1" was chosen as the postcard image and his giant"More" sampler (about 5x8 ft) greeted the viewers at the door, I would say that the sampler tradition was a much quoted, important theme for the exhibit. One can hardly think of embroidery and text without first calling samplers to mind, and several artists in this exhibit played with the tradition, subverting it through text and imagery. While Bren's sampler has all the borders and alphabets one expects, his text makes us do a double-take. His statement and much of his work explores concepts of masculinity. He's wielding the needle instead of his fists. I love his statement here and I'm glad he's come out of the "craft closet" to share his work with us.
Another familiar format is found in Rubi McGrory's sampler, reminiscent of mid 1800's samplers with the highly decorative border and "clip art" conglomeration. Rubi subverts the tradition by replacing roses with cockroaches and flower baskets with shopping bags. The piece is a critique of our consumeristic culture, countered not only through image and text but also by the time, effort, and craftsmanship placed in its production. I'm not a big cross stitch fan, and particularly loathe aida cloth, but Jennifer Hunold uses it as a familiar lure for her "Be Nice" pamphlet. The original embroideries were shown, but the actual piece (in my opinion) was to be found as a free pamphlet on the information table. Being nice is something we have to take time to do, thus it makes sense for her graphics to be created in a method that requires time and care. For more friendly advice on how to make the world a more pleasant place, check out her blog.
Well, that wraps up the photos I have for "From the Tongue". There was a lot more great work, but there were also a lot of other bloggers there who will probably go into greater detail!!!


  1. these were some of my favorite pieces. i was in awe of those cockroaches - each so individualized!

  2. Thank you Marie for your wonderful comments about my work! I'm delighted you understood the point of "Be Nice." which is truly about the take-home aspect, and the blog. I'm sorry I wasn't at the opening to visit with you, but I do look forward to checking back to your blog in the future!

  3. Hey Jennifer! You're welcome- good luck with your continued project. I liked the slightly tongue-in-cheek sweetness and simultaneous earnestness involved. Can you find a way to involve "not smoking in the subway station" and "Not cursing in restaurants and public places"- 2 things I found disturbing while out and about today...

    And Drucilla, I wasn't sure whether to be in awe or cringe at those cockroaches!!!!

  4. LOL! I'll make a note of your request--especially not smoking in subways! Yuck! I think I could add that to "no peeing in subways/streets". NYC would smell so much nicer in the summers if that were not so common. :-) Thanks for the insights about the piece--it's nice to know that people who don't know my personality can grasp the work for how it was intended! Always a dream come true for an artist, wouldn't you say?!