19 September 2019

More Textile Exhibits

Wow! There is just so much to see around here.

SCAD FASH continues their amazing run of exhibitions. Closing this Sunday 22 September is Kaleidoscope Katrantzou. This is a 10-year retrospective of the work Greek-born, London-based designer Mary Katrantzou. Her work begins with digital printing on fabric, but evolved beyond that. Often she uses unusual materials.

Some pictures:


Printed images of landscapes in black and white combine with bold, simplified, sculptural forms. I love the full moon on the shoulder of the foreground dress with the cherry blossom tree. The partly obscured dress immediately behind is printed on a diaphanous material, creating an intriguing layered effect with the image.


Here couches and upholstery serve as the source of inspiration. On the left, I love how the jacket looks like an overstuffed chair. The quilt pattern on the skirt reminds me of a handmade blanket thrown across the back of a couch. The dress on the right is reminiscent of an oriental rug.


These two are examples of unusual materials. The "stamps" are linked together, but with gaps between them. Appropriate undergarments are key.

This dress was made specifically for Cate Blanchett to wear at Cannes' film festival in 2018. There's an article about it in British Vogue. In this work, Katrantzou has started with a digital print fabric resembling a floral paint-by-number. The dress is then lavishly embroidered and embellished. This is one you need to see in person to appreciate the color and details. Talk about a party dress!

The SCAD FASH people have done a great job posing the mannequins in ways that are both expressive and complementary to the garments.

Running concurrently is Form & Function: Shoe Art by Chris Francis. You have more time to see this show, as it goes until 8 December 2019. Chris Francis is amazingly self-taught. Some of his designs seem almost like small architecture rather than footwear.

A sampling:


If I recall correctly, the one on the far left is inspired by The Varsity restaurant in downtown Atlanta. The range of materials and textures triggers all sorts of associations.

The pair on the lower left looks like a cross between a golf cart and a child's toy. And they seem simultaneously very cute and a little dangerous, as if the wheels would make the wearer unstable. The shoe in the upper right takes Gain detergent as its inspiration point. The shoe looks like a silly over-the-top magazine advertisement.


I love this one for its cross between I Dream of Jeannie and Dr. Seuss. It is somehow exotic, alien, 1950s, and oriental all at once.


Here's a good example of one that looks like an architectural model. I'm not a fan of Brutalism, but this works here. The shoe seems like a cage for the foot. And when I imagine wearing it, I imagine the heaviness of trying to move as well as the uncomfortable concrete and metal.

If you have found yourself stuck artistically, Chris Francis' play may push you out of your rut.

The final exhibit I want to review just opened tonight: A Taste of TASA: The Woven World. This is at the Mable House Arts Center, right around the corner from where I live. TASA is the Textile Appreciation Society of Atlanta. I am a member of this group. I sometimes refer to them as the group for textile patrons. While there are some artists in the group, the majority of the members are collectors. Many of them are well-traveled and have been to unusual places. This exhibit will take you around the world.

Some photographs:


Here's a wall of Indonesian textiles. Some are printed. Some are ikat.


These Asia textiles include exquisite embroidery. The red jacket in the upper left is layered with pearls and metal threads. The banner is also heavily embroidered and textured. The purses in the case at right are encrusted with beads.



Really, what can you say about an African tunic covered in porcupine quills? I guess it is the ultimate expression of "leave me alone." The Moroccan mantle at center is a complex weave with supplementary warps and weft to create the complex patterns. Bold Kuba cloth on left.

The exhibit is up until 31 October 2019.

For all of these, I've purposely refrained from showing you details. As with so many textiles, you need to see them in person to appreciate them.

And if that's not enough to do, this Saturday is Spin in Public Day. Trillium Vineyard in Bremen, Georgia, is planning a big day. Spinning, wine, music — it's all good.

No excuses if you need inspiration. And it's all local!