“Materialities” Exhibition + Catalog Showcases Strength & Scope of Members’ Work

Materialities Install view rock wallSince it opened on August 29, 2015, Materialites: Contemporary Textile Arts – the 1st international juried exhibition of work by members of Surface Design Association – has been viewed by hundreds of people attending workshops or visiting Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (USA).

Ever attentive to creating opportunities for its members to showcase their work in textile media, SDA conceived the show – plus the more enduring and comprehensive catalog – as a definitive collection of contemporary textile art.

Materialities installation 1

Independent curator Namita Gupta Wiggers agreed to select works that answered her query: “What do textiles/fibers & their associated processes offer artists that cannot be achieved in other media?” 

The response to the call for entries was remarkable, with 506 applicants submitting over 2,300 images. 91 artists were included in the catalog. 69 accepted the invitation to send their work for exhibition.

Materialities Installation ikat and dot

Asked to summarize the experience of reviewing such a wealth of work, Wiggers observed that “Through a range of processes, such as dyeing, weaving, embroidery, quilting and tapestry, the selected works demonstrate how SDA members conjoin surface and structure using textile-based techniques; engage decorative, ornamental and pictorial traditions; examine and critique culture and traditions; and push textiles from material to ephemeral limits through individual and collaborative creative practice.”

Materialities close shot of 4 works

Wiggers went on to state that “The work could serve as an instructional catalog of materials, processes and techniques for working through textiles — and reveal the strength and scope of this international member organization.”

Namita Gupta Wiggers headshot copyShe summarized the long-term implications of the exhibition by saying that “Materialities: Contemporary Textile Arts epitomizes my favorite type of project — one in which responses to a curatorial query raise new questions for future investigation.

The following works were chosen to receive cash prizes:

Ann Morton’s Ground Cloth (Arizona, USA) received Best of Show Award ($700). Curator Wiggers observes that in this work “surface, material, and community come together and exemplify the social engagement focus of this year’s [SDA] conference, Made/Aware.” (Find out more about this intensive focused on socially engaged art, October 8-11, 2015, here. -Ed.)

Ann Morton Ground Cloth composite video capture and recipient

Marianne Penberthy (West Australia) won 2nd Place ($400) with Flour on the Ground/Ground Quilt for challenging the curator (and viewer) to extend [their] thinking about surface with regards to textiles” and “consider….decorative cultural traditions ranging from sand-painting by Australian Aborigines to ephemeral rangoli floor patterns made in India.”

Penberthy Ground Quilt full and detail Materialities

3rd Place ($300) went to Kristina Aas (Norway) for Broken. In her artist’s statement, Aas reflects that the “Jacquard loom allows me to explore…how we experience and perceive our physical surroundings.”

Aas Broken detail Materialities Winner

Rena Wood (Missouri, USA) was awarded Honorable Mention ($100) for Untangled.  Wood states that “I use textile processes to create drawings, sculpturally and on the surface of cloth, as a way to explore the visual aspects of how memories might appear in our brain and the changes that occur as memories are lost.”

Wood Rena Untangled Materialities Winner

April Dauscha (Illinois, USA) received an SDA Award of Excellence for Communion. About her work, Dauscha states I use the body to investigate the ideas of morality, mourning, and mortification.”

dauscha_communion_sda website Materialities winner

Experience Materialities exhibition through October 31, 2015, at Sandra J. Blain Galleries at Arrowmont.

Materialities Cover screen grabWiggers’ illuminating essay, Material Inquiries”, about selected works is included in the 80+ page, full color catalog, along with artists’ statements and additional contextualizing essays by Arrowmont Program Director/artist Nick DeFord (“Made/Aware”),  indigo master/artist Rowland Ricketts (“A Call to Action”and SDA Journal Editor Marci Rae McDade (“Surface As Substance”).

Study this compendium of exceptional work at your leisure by ordering your own print copy of Materialities catalog via SDA Marketplace. Give the gift of textile arts innovation by ordering copies as gifts – any time of year!

To extend the reach and increase visibility of SDA members’ talent as presented by this 2-part benefit of membership, complimentary copies of the catalog will be sent to SDA advertisers, major donors and 60+ museums and art schools – including DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, Fuller Craft Museum, Denver Art Museum, Center for Craft Creativity & Design, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Penland School of Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Arrowmont – to name just a few.

SDA members whose work is included in Materialities comprehensive catalog are:

SDA Materialities Catalog Artists Names 3 column

1 Comment

  • Leisa Rich says

    October 5, 2015 at 10:38 am

    So wonderful to see such great works and from so many of my friends. You rock, all of you! Thanks for the images for those of us who couldn't be there!

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