Japan-born, Iowa City-based artist Sayuri Sasaki Hemann creates underwater worlds with fabrics and felt in installations. Projects like “Urban Aquarium,” which started in 2009 and appeared throughout Portland, recreate jellyfish and other sea inhabitants in places them in an airport and other unexpected places.
There may be no such thing as a magic carpet, but Argentine artist Alexandra Kehayoglou’s distinctive carpet designs will instantly transport you to another place. Her imaginative works have been described as romantic and fairytale-like woven playgrounds, imitating textures of nature like moss, sand, water, tree bark and grassy pastures, as in her “Pastureland” and “Garden” series. Kehayoglou sources her materials from the leftover scraps from her family’s carpet factory in Buenos Aires, shown here in this short video documentary about her work. One of Kehayoglou’s latest projects, titled “En los pies de Elpiniki” (At the foot of Elpiniki) is a giant, elaborately woven shoe that fantasizes about the beginnings of her family’s tradition of making carpets.
Burbank, California based artist Michelle Kingdom creates fantastically strange embroideries on linen that look like paintings. Some have even dubbed them as “stitched paintings.” For Kingdom, they are “narrative embroideries” that weave stories made out of thread. Embroidery is oftentimes discarded as craft, but that is part of its appeal to the artist, who uses it in an unexpected way to express her innermost thoughts and escape to her imaginary world.
Boston based sculptor Jenine Shereos often uses fiber and textile processes to create her intricate artworks. Her latest series uses a more unusual material – her own hair. “Leaf Series” portrays the patterned lace-like skeletons of dead leaves with excruciating detail. Shereos discusses her inspiration and process at her website: “Inspired by the delicate and detailed venation of a leaf, I began stitching individual strands of hair by hand into a water- soluble backing material. At each point where one strand of hair intersected another, I stitched a tiny knot, so that when the backing was dissolved, the entire piece was able to hold its form. Creating this work was a very meditative process for me, as I found myself lost in the detail of the small, organic microcosms that began taking shape.”
Originally from Mexico City, Texas-based Gabriel Dawe primarily uses thread as a means of creating fantastical installations. Combining fashion and architecture, his vibrant threaded works (covered here) exhibit a certain strength and delicacy. Dawe’s ongoing series of sculptures play with textiles on a much smaller scale. Instead of large spaces, in “End of Childhood”, Dawe binds a child’s toys such as metal cars and plastic animals like elephants, horses, and dinosaurs.
Traditional quilting meets a unconventional use of textile art in San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles’ upcoming exhibition, “Found/Made.” Curated by Roderick Kiracofe, the exhibit brings together quilts of historic and unknown origin with those by contemporary artists, including Ben Venom (covered here), Clay Lohmann, Joe Cunningham, Luke Haynes, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Sarah Nishiura, and Theresa May. Their works match their predecessors’ classic techniques, but depart to tell a modern narrative.