Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Illuminated Banners Installed at the UUCC

What is new in my studio?? Lots! I will start with my installation in August.

Last month, I finished and installed a set of banners for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte. This installation marked the beginning of the UUCC's "Cycle of Worship" for the 2009-2010 year. In this cycle the second Sunday of month the UUCC service is dedicated to a significant theme to focus and increase our awareness and understanding of the lives of the members. Particularly how to nurture ourselves, our families, our community, our earth, and our universe.

I created this set of five banners each 7.5 feet tall and 62 inches wide to hang in the vestibule of the church.

After some discussion with the minister, Jay Leach, I chose to use a combination of the dictionary definitions of each theme and overlaid a set of illuminated words. My thought was to depict the many ways we learn to understand these topics and to understand the depth of each lexicon, the usage, and the mystery of each theme.

My process began with five lengths of white pima cotton, each was dyed twice in a soft mottling pattern to create the look of old, stained parchment. Then using thickened dye, I screen printed the definitions of each theme word using similar margins, typeface, and spacing that are found in dictionaries. Each of these dye processes take 24 hours to complete to create dye-fast color on the fabric.

In the past few months of traveling I stumbled upon 4 different exhibitions of illuminated manuscripts all over the country. This gave me a chance to see the different types of illuminations and get an idea of the feel for the documents. My versions are no were near the detail or perfection of hand the historic documents I saw - they were so intimate and fragile. But I did get a chance to see many styles and then did quite a bit of research on illuminated manuscripts. Taking my lead from a style using trailing vines and leaves I designed the letters that I needed for this project. I enlarged the sketches and transferred them to the yardage. I then hand illuminated the large initials and the text lettering.

I choose to install each banner wrinkled intentionally to further create the look of old parchment manuscripts.

The banners will hang in the UUCC through August 2010.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My work featured in Charlotte Observer

The first exhibition hung by the 5 artist members of the Charlotte Artery included about 50 pieces of art. The exhibition was a great success we had our "soft" opening on Thursday night the 24th also showed on the 25th and last weekend helped round out the First Friday Gallery crawl in Charlotte with that show.

I am one of 5 artist members of this group which consists of painters, printmakers, mixed media and fiber artists. Our diverse art makes these exhibitions varied and interesting. We have been awarded a grant from the Arts and Science Council to present 6 exhibitions to the public making use of alternative spaces as galleries. This has been a great learning experience for all of us, maybe by the end of May we will have our hands around all of the tasks needed to present a cohesive exhibition starting from bare wall spaces.

The audience for the show was quite diverse and included Barbara Schreiber from ChARTnews and Creative Loafing and Linda Luise Brown. Brown interviewed us while at the exhibition for the Charlotte Observer and her article http://www.charlotteobserver.com/165/story/978297.html which appeared in the October 1st Style section, was a great boost for our small Charlotte artist movement.

What was additionally exciting for me was that the paper selected the picture of my beaded reliquary "Ix Chel" to print along with the text from the images we sent to the paper.

It is great that fiber and mixed media art is being shown in the local press. I got this piece back from the 2009 Bead International Show a few months ago. I am glad to have it back at least for a little while.

We were also asked to participate with WFAE in the Trolley Museum event with another exhibition - for one night on the 2nd of October. So we re-scoured our portfolio of work and pulled together ANOTHER show of about the same size to hang last Thursday.

Our next show is tentatively scheduled for mid-November - right before Thanksgiving. I am headed out to the studio to make more art.

More news from the studio soon. -janet