Dedee Shattuck Gallery is pleased to present Paint Pattern Print Texture: Exploring the Blurred Lines Between Textile and Paint, an exhibition of five artists examining the shared language of painting and textile work. The exhibit runs from June 4th through June 29th. These five artists are not limited by the traditional definitions of “painting” and “textile art” but see extraordinary opportunities in the boundaries between them, boldly creating works that cannot be fully classified by either term. This exhibit celebrates the space between categories, and interdisciplinary explorations. These artists, in unbridling themselves from traditional definitions or expectations, are courageous voices creating innovative work that challenges our perceptions while still delighting our aesthetic sensibilities.
Daphne Taylor uses fabric and thread to create meditative quilt drawings that embody her unique artistic expression and harmony. The stitching ranges from the intrigue of loose gestural drawings to the focus of geometric paintings. This exhibition includes whole cloth and pieced quilts as well as a group of small embroidered drawings. Inspired by her own Quaker heritage, Taylor’s work is elegant, quiet, and introspective. The aesthetic derives from Minimalism and Geometric art, but her works are lush with a rich sense of texture and a strong connection to hand craft. The dichotomy between quiet minimalist control and the comforting accessibility of traditional craft enriches her works with a bold sense of discovery and a strong, if quiet, voice.
Daphne Taylor was born into a Philadelphia Quaker family with historic roots reaching over two hundred years. As an undergraduate at Rhode Island School of Design, she studied ceramics and developed her love of craft traditions. While working on her MFA in painting at the University of Pennsylvania, she continued her life long discipline of drawing, which to this day, influences stitching patterns in her quilt work. Her close association with the Quaker traditions is a strong influence in her life and work. The curious and profound silence of a Quaker meeting can be felt in the patient, meditative lines of her quilts. Her compositions also frame challenging relationships of colors and other formal tensions, suggesting that there is never an easy or obvious blueprint to her quilts. Like the complex silence felt in a Quaker meeting, the world within Taylor’s quilts is hardly a straightforward place.
Pat Coomey Thornton
Pat Coomey Thornton creates colorful and exuberant semi-abstract works in gouache, acrylic, watercolor, ink and graphite. The works are celebrations of color, pattern, and energy. Thornton is inspired by Abstract Expressionism and Action Painting, but maintains a strong personal aesthetic which is immediately recognizable in her work. Delicate lines and shapes in vivid and loud colors overlap and intersect in compositions that reverberate with vitality. Often, Thornton digitally manipulates her abstract paintings and studies by tiling, repeating, flipping and tessellating them as a screen printer might do. These digital compositions are then printed on silk georgette, cashmere, and cotton, creating textile pattern from her dynamic design elements.
Pat Coomey Thornton is a painter, designer, and educator. Merging her study of painting with her love of textiles, Coomey Thornton has developed an artistic practice that combines her intuitive expressive style of painting with her calculated and focused design skills. Coomey Thornton received her BFA in painting from Massachusetts College of Art, and her MFA in painting, with a minor in art history, from the Pius XII Institute in Florence Italy. She maintains an active studio practice and a textile print business, Miatela Studio, where she creates textiles inspired by her paintings, drawings, and gouaches. She has exhibited broadly, including at Dedee Shattuck Gallery, the RISD Museum, the Fuller Craft Museum, The Rose Art Museum, and The Worcester Art Museum. She is the recipient of Massachusetts Artist and Ford Foundation Travel Grants, and her work is in the collections of Meditech, The Rose Art Museum, Paine Webber NY, as well as numerous private collection.
"Instances and unexpected encounters are a constant source of wonder and inspiration for my work. The complex circumstances of a life are tied to rhythms and patterns that connect dreams, wishes, and physical reality. We each exist on many levels simultaneously, combining complex relationships and interactions with what seems simple and basic.
I prefer to evoke ideas that are metaphoric and poetic, rather than to describe. I think the many components of an experience - and individual’s voice, a string of notes, a sudden motion, transitions and rhythms – are all elements capable of revealing insights about our worlds. I try to capture a sense of fleeting time, a glimpse of parts that suggest the whole, and the energy of a connection and continuum. I hope to create a work where color, texture, and mark offer the observer an absorbing entrance to their own experiences and thoughts. I seize upon nuances from my surroundings and life as points of departure. I simplify shapes to suggest their recognizable relatives, and I hope to generate more than one interpretation.
Line is important in my work and I envision it as a generative, time-based element. I attempt to weave together a surface of elements to create energy, tempo, and spatial relationships. Color is also a spatial, emotional and map-like factor.
I endeavor to employ visual elements that will enable subtle dynamic changes of the visual hierarchy over time in order to create a continued dialogue. " - Pat Coomey Thornton 2014
Sophia Narrett will receive her MFA in painting from RISD in the Spring of 2014, her study of painting informs her figurative embroidered works. Figures, both nude and dressed in various period attire, relate in narrative scenes dreamlike in nature. Narrett handles embroidery thread with an attitude that suggests a belabored and focused process. The surfaces are dense with tight stitching, tangles, loose threads and occasionally appliquéd fabrics or objects. The textures and imagery are vexing, haunting, and intriguing—communicating a sense of anxiety and wonder. The viewer becomes a voyeur into a surreal and uncharted world.
Sophia Narrett was born in 1987 in Concord, MA and grew up in Ellicott City, MD. This May she will receive her MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design and this summer she will attend Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture through a RISD Skowhegan Matching Fellowship. In 2010 Narrett received her BA with Honors in Visual Arts from Brown University. She has participated in residencies at Vermont Studio Center and the Public Art Academy at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport, PA. She has had solo exhibitions at Space Gallery in Portland, ME and Jordan Faye Contemporary in Baltimore, MD. Her work has been included group shows at Mixed Greens, SHOW ROOM and Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York, and Arcilesi & Homberg FIne Art and The Parlour Bushwick in Brooklyn. Narrett lives and works in Providence, RI.
"My images are driven by an effort to make exactly what I want to see and to express an honest fantasy. Through the creation of stylized fictional situations, I explore existential conditions of embodiment, beauty, eroticism, personality, fear, and resignation within a collapsing fantasy. In an embroidered space of miniature figures, make believe, ghost stories, horror films, costume and role-play become ways to exaggerate, deny, and luxuriate in fears and fantasies. I give myself the license and responsibility to depict precarious desires that chase idealized bodies, the picturesque landscape or garden, luxury, high fashion, and generalized narratives of history and role-play. Sometimes the decadence is too much and the fantasy topples over, exposes itself, becomes empty. Giorgio Agamben describes the nihilism of beauty, in that if beauty is pure appearance it cannot mean anything beyond itself. When accompanied by the awareness of this nihilism, an obsession with beauty becomes a way to look into the abyss.
I work in thread due to the medium’s impact on the process as well as the resulting image. The scale of embroidery thread is in keeping with a miniature language, when a figure is roughly in the 1:12 scale one strand of embroidery thread becomes a finger. Embroidery allows the image to ride a line between legibility and decomposition, erasing the specificity of photographic source material in favor of a narrative that can occupy multiple or ambiguous times, places, or even scales. The physicality of thread also allows the images to exist as illusionistic, yet maintain a materiality, even to bleed outwards, and for the materiality of the piece to sublimate the image’s emotional content. As the emotionality of the narratives heightens to that of melodrama, the intense investment in the embroidery process required to create legible images speaks to the at times overwrought nature of the fantasy. This type of commitment, to materials and time as well as to honesty, hopefully becomes a gesture of generosity towards the viewer, and a devotional act towards the image." - Sophia Narrett, 2014
Elin Noble experiments with textile dyeing, stitching, and patterning in an artistic process that marries the scientific and the intuitive. Her Fugitive Pieces series interprets quilt making in an expressive and thought-provoking way. Fabrics dyed with layers of rich color are articulated with circuitous stitched lines, complimenting and contrasting the dye colors. Also on view is an abbreviated version of Noble’s ethereal Vox Stellarum installation. Layers of charcoal, black, and white dyed silk organza float from the ceiling, creating a changing moiré pattern as they sway and settle around one another. Noble’s elegantly simple installation transforms the space it occupies dramatically.
Elin Noble was born in Munich, Germany, grew up in the United States, the Far East and Europe, and now resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She studied art history in Florence, Italy and has traveled and studied in Japan, India, Turkey, Peru, South Africa, Europe, and Mexico.
Elin is the author of Dyes & Paints: A Hands-On Guide to Coloring Fabric, winner of the 1999 Independent Publisher book award for best How-To Book. As former Lab Manager at Pro Chemical & Dye, she has vast experience and understanding of the dyeing process. She has appeared on PBS, and lectured and conducted dye and paint workshops across North America as well as internationally. She has just returned from three weeks of teaching and conducting research in Japan. A version of the Vox Stellarum installation was featured in the Joan Mondale Gallery at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last fall, and a different version will be installed at the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum in La Conner, Washington, later this year. A selection of quilts from the Fugitive Pieces series are currently on view in San Diego, California, at the Visions Art Museum.
Eck Follen uses encaustic painting and mixed media to create works that use color, texture, repetition, symmetry and asymmetry to explore visual ideas. Follen experiments with materials constantly- painting encaustic with shellac and then igniting it, dragging pins through thick masses of joint compound, layering on and scraping off and sanding away. Follen’s works emerge from a purely intuitive process, employing her expert instincts for color and design. The works are tactile and inviting. Smooth luminosity of the wax is complimented with rich colors and contrasted with complex textures. Follen’s encaustics are sometimes directly influenced by textile techniques—such as in her quilt series—but always evoke the elements and essence of textile work.
Eck Follen is a multi-media artist working in furniture, encaustic painting, drawing and sculpture. She holds a BA from Belhaven college, and received her MFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990. Follen is a collector, finding the beauty in everyday objects such as tea boxes, antique scissors, smashed buckets, and discarded industrial materials. Her studio in Smokestack Studios in Fall River Massachusetts is lined with shelves and boxes of carefully organized collections. Studying the colors, textures, and energy of the collected objects, Follen is inspired to create works that embody the pure beauty of the objects she is drawn to. Follen has worked as an interior designer and art professor and her immersion in these fields has honed her expert sense of color and design, while still maintaing a fluency with a fine arts language. Her work has been shown at Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Fuller Craft Museum, Meuberger Museum of Art, The RISD Museum, and The Society of Arts and Crafts. She is the recipient of an NEA/NFA Regional Fellowship Award.
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