April 4 - 29
Reception: April 7, 5-7pm
The Dedee Shattuck Gallery is pleased to present Solastalgia, an exhibition presenting the work of textile artists: Miyuki Akai Cook, Carrie Dickason, Kristin Pesola, Myra Serrins, Jenine Shereos, Ann Wessmann, Meredith Woolnough, Natalie Miebach, and Ran Hwang.
Solastalgia, a term which combines “solace” and “pain”, is defined as, “the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault . . . a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at ‘home’ ” (Albrecht, 2007). That juxtaposition – our attachment to the beauty and comfort of a known place with a sense of anticipated/observed/concurrent loss – generates appreciation and anxiety. Will the trill and thrum of the natural world be altered, silenced, replaced? What is transience, relative to our human observations?
Miyuki Akai Cook
Miyuki Akai Cook was born and raised in Japan. She has always enjoyed creativities since she can remember, such as drawing, painting, and paper cutting, then her mother introduced sewing, knitting, crocheting. It was very natural for Miyuki to pursue art as her career. She attended Seian Woman’s college in Kyoto for a year to study textile, which was the first experience she dyed fabric. She earned BFA in Interior Design from Osaka University of Arts in Japan.
In 2000 Miyuki took a journey to the U.S. to explore a different culture. She re-discovered an interest in textile while she was studying at University of North Texas. In 2006 she received MFA in Fiber/ Artisanry from University of Massachusetts- Dartmouth. She has been passionate for education and currently teaching at Marshall University, WV.
Her visual inspiration and aesthetic are often from Japanese heritage. She calls herself a “maker” because her curious and adventurous personality let her to use various techniques and materials for different purposes. As a mother and educator, she concerns about young generation. In her artwork she express our coexistence and dilemma caught between human society and nature’s gift of life. She will have an installation work open to public in this June that is part of an artist in residency in Charleston, WV.
My work focuses on balance and dilemma caught between human society with all mechanical development and human as a part of nature. I often use disposable items and trash with traditional materials and techniques to express today’s human society. Technology must coexist with our only land, earth, since we will never go back to ancient life style. I am not blaming anyone, but I rather present the facts and problems for awareness.
My work focuses on the intersection of art and science and the visual articulation of scientific observations. Using the methodologies and processes of both disciplines, I translate scientific data related to astronomy, ecology and meteorology woven sculptures. My method of translation is principally that of weaving – in particular basket weaving – as it provides me with a simple yet highly effective grid through which to interpret data in three-dimensional space. By staying true to the numbers, these woven pieces tread an uneasy divide between functioning both as sculptures in space as well as instruments that could be used in the actual environment from which the data originates.
Central to this work is my desire to explore the role visual aesthetics play in the translation and understanding of science information. By utilizing artistic processes and everyday materials, I am questioning and expanding boundaries through which science data has been traditionally visually translated (ex: graphs, diagrams), while at the same time provoking expectations of what kind of visual vocabulary is considered to be in the domain of ‘science’ or ‘art’.
For my most recent project called “Recording and Translating Climate Change”, I gather weather observations from specific ecosystems using very simple data-collecting devices. The numbers are then compared to historical / global meteorological trends, before being translated into sculpture. By examining the complex behavioral interactions of living/non-living systems between weather and an environment, I hope to gain a better understanding of complexity of systems and behaviors that make up weather and climate change. Lately, I have also started to translate the data into musical scores, which are then interpreted through sculptures as well as through collaborations with musicians. My aim is twofold: to convey a nuance or level of emotionality surrounding my research that thus far has been absent from my visual work and to reveal patterns in the data musicians might identify which I have failed to see.
I peer towards the future, wondering what it holds for my children, my grandchildren. In my mind’s eye I glance over my shoulder, longing for a time when I took some things for granted, when I thought that life for those I love would go on in a reasonably stable fashion. Instead I find myself in a shifting landscape, rife with uncertainty. To counter confusion I turn to images and words as simple as plain weave, follow the shuttle across the loom in order to glean an understanding of what unfolds from my heart to my hand. In this quiet state of mind I know that the act of creating is an affirmation, an impulse that works against the negative and destructive aspects of human nature. I begin to see a path forward.
Born: Chicago, Illinois 1978
Jenine Shereos is a sculptor and installation artist specializing in fiber and textile processes. She has an MFA from California State University, Long Beach, and currently lives in Massachusetts.
Shereos’ work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and included in exhibitions in France, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, and Canada. Her work has also been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Frame Magazine, Make Magazine, Texteil Plus Magazine, and Mary Schoeser’s recent publication; Textiles: The Art of Mankind. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2015 Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Crafts, first place in “Small Expressions,” at the Long Beach Museum of Art, second prize at the Triennial of Mini-textiles in Angers, France, and the Drawing Prize at the 20the Drawing Show at the Boston Center for the Arts’ Mills Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts.
Over the past several years, I have been developing a body of work in which I utilize textile techniques such as knitting and embroidery to create works that interact with the structure of the landscape. Sometimes material is fluid and in motion and other times it is held under tension, creating a network of dimensional lines throughout the physical space it encompasses. The work takes on many different forms as knit cloth is caught up in ocean waves simulating the motion of the seaweed surrounding it, thread is embedded into the bark of a tree to form embroidered designs, or what appear to be delicate fall leaves are upon closer inspection revealed to be made from intricately stitched human hair.
Some of these site-specific works are installed for a period of weeks for viewers to interact with, and others function as an ephemeral performance existing afterwards only as documentation. Oftentimes, collaborations intended or unintended arise within the environment; a tree’s fallen limbs are “reattached” using knit material, fibrous fragments of seaweed become embedded within a structure of knit fibers, or the curve of a rock is mimicked in the gesture of a cloth’s movement. In each of these works, material is suspended in a state of making and un-making as new structures and meanings emerge.
Jodi Stevens received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textiles from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina in 2006 and completed her MFA in Fibers in 2010, at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She resides in New Bedford, MA and has shown work in Canada, various locations in the U.S., and more extensively throughout Massachusetts.
Stevens has been a visiting artist in residence for several programs in Colorado and Massachusetts. She has directed workshops and participated in textile-based educational outreach programs through museum partnerships and commissions, including the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA and the Albany Institute of History and Art in Albany, New York. Stevens holds ongoing positions as a studio manager for a professional mid-career artist and adjunct faculty for the Continuing Education department at Rhode Island School of Design. She was the Lead Curator at Dedee Shattuck Gallery located in Westport, Massachusetts from 2015-2016. She will be serving her third year as a guest juror for the annual Cuttyhunk Plein Air Festival in 2018, and she provides administrative support to the ART drive, an annual art studio tour event, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this past summer. Stevens is currently the Operations Manager at the New Bedford Port Society, the oldest non-profit organization in New Bedford. The Port Society maintains the historic Seamen’s Bethel and Mariner’s Home located in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.
Ann Wessmann is an artist living and working in Boston. She received a BS from Skidmore College and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Wessmann has been a professor in the 3-D Fine Arts Department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston since 1978, and has been head of the Fibers program since 1994. Wessmann's mixed media wall reliefs, sculptural objects and site specific installations have been exhibited throughout the US including locally at the Fuller Craft Museum, the deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, the Art Complex Museum, the Mills Gallery, Spoke Gallery @ Medicine Wheel Productions, and Suffolk University Gallery. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections. Wessmann has been a member of the Kingston Gallery since 2002 and has had six major solo shows and five smaller solo shows at the Kingston since 2001.
Ann Wessmann's objects and installations explore themes relating to time, memory, beauty and the ephemeral. With a background in fiber and textile processes, Wessmann develops works through repetition and the accumulation of a variety of materials. Materials are chosen for their expressive potential; translucent vellum, various personal mementos such as locks of hair from family members, texts from family journals and letters, or natural materials such as plants, shells and stones. The works have a strong relationship to text and textiles, pattern, transformation, order and chaos, landscape and the body.
Wessmann engages the viewer through the physicality of materials, and the use of scale. Viewers often confront works which mirror the human body; larger scale installations may surround the viewer. In some cases works of a small scale are created requiring the viewer to look from a very close perspective.
While the work may begin as the commemoration of the life of a family member, Wessmann's hope is that the work will have universal appeal and remind viewers of their own history and relationships.
The most recent body of work Being: Vertical+Horizontal looks at life as a pattern, a continuous series of movements from being vertical or upright by day and lying down horizontally by night. As the pattern develops it honors the individual day/night and attempts to honor the accumulations of each day/night while also resigning to the blurriness of the whole.
Meredith Woolnough's elegant embroidered traceries capture the delicate beauty of nature in knotted embroidery threads. Through a delicate system of tiny stitches she creates intricate and complex openwork compositions that are then carefully pinned in shadowboxes, just like preserved specimens.
The work maps the frameworks of the various veining systems found in nature to create work that explores the balance, harmony and connectivity of life on Earth. Inspired by the patterns, structures and shapes found in plants, coral, cells and shells Meredith's embroideries represent both the robust beauty and elegant fragility of life.
Meredith is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning artist from Newcastle, Australia. Her work is held in public, private and corporate collections worldwide.
The world’s coral reefs are in peril. Large expanses of reefs are bleaching and dyeing due to warming ocean temperatures. Most people are familiar with the cause and result of coral bleaching but there is another, relatively unknown, phenomenon that is happening on some reefs. The coral is glowing.
Little is known about this recent evolutionary adaptation. It is believed to be a type of chemical sunscreen the coral produces to help protect themselves from the heat. These stunning shades of violet and blue are a type or swan song for coral. A beautiful fateful florescence as the coral transforms itself in a final attempt to survive this changing world.