Saturday, June 26

From the Tongue

Thursday night was the opening for "From the Tongue" at Lotus Salon/Gallery in Tribeca. I haven't been up to New York in a really long time, so you have to realize how exciting the prospect of seeing all these artists' work in one room must have been to draw me up to the big apple. Not only were there some of my favorite embroiderers in the show, but it was an exhibit of stitch and text- doubly interesting. The place was packed, so I didn't get pictures of all the pieces, but here's a highlight of my favorites: The common thread in the 4 pieces I'm sharing in this post is the idea of legible/illegible. Joetta Maue's "Celebrate" is clear from across the room, and from afar the mystery is "How'd she do that?". Up close the mystery is revealed: collaged bits of floral found embroidery, lace, and crochet, but then the text disappears. Sometimes you need to be in the right place for perspective. Joetta's choice to put this particular piece in the exhibit is truly a propos- as the curator, she should certainly celebrate bringing together a community of fiber artists, and her piece celebrates all the hands that created those bits of found cloth, probably individuals who never thought of themselves as artists.
Another found cloth piece is "A Letter to my Mother" by Jung Eun Park. I suppose one could sit and try to read it, but the reverse of the piece is displayed to the viewer, showing us the raw bleeding side of hanging threads. This allows the artist to go through the act of stitching a private letter, an imaginably cathartic experience, and preserve her privacy, yet still allow us to sense the emotional impact of the text. (Her blog is called red-colored!-- ok I'm probably the only one who would be so excited about how close that is to my own blogger name)Something about the red square... Susan Moss's "Aspects of Perfection in the Mundane" also intrigued me. The letters of text fit in the same space as the little red squares that grid the fabric, and so at first pass the text is hidden. But as we're humans closely attuned to pattern, something jars in the vision and notices the interruption in regularity- that's when the letters emerge. Note, this wall is incredibly packed with art- "salon" style if you get the pun... The most illegible was Richard Saja's "Great White Milky Way", a nearly floor to ceiling band of French knots. Perhaps this was the most legible- if you can read Braille, again, all depends on perspective. For the visually abled and Braille-illiterate, Saja had the full text posted next to his piece, a lament, a confession, an ode to his countless wasted unborn progeny. Symbolic little French knots....Click here for his explanation of the piece.
I'll have some more for you later.


  1. Marie, I am so glad to see you are posting pics and thoughts on the exhibit ... I was so drunk with the excitement of seeing the stitching and meeting artists that I didn't look closely enough or contemplate. I'm still so sorry to have missed you - but thank you!!

  2. thank you SO MUCH for the wonderful write-ups about the show. they are so thoughtful and generous...
    I really appreciate it and am so glad that you came out to the show and we finally met.

    also richard's last name is Saja- the label was wrong at the show so if you could correct that I am sure he would be thankful.

    thank you again!!!!!!!!

  3. Thanks Joetta! I'm really glad I came up for the day! And thanks for the correction. I thought it was Saja...