Threaded art demonstrates the fragile ties that bind us
Room opens at AGSA tomorrow
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 06:00 am
What makes a house into a home? It has lots to do with how the people living in it relate to each other, sure, but the Art Gallery of St. Albert breaks it down into compartments. Rooms, to be exact.
Its new exhibit, Room, presents the works of two artists as studies of how home is both a physical and emotional space. Martina MacFarlane and Amanda McCavour have two very distinct artistic styles and media for that matter.
MacFarlane’s acrylic and acid stained paintings deliver a kind of image set of houses as barren yet pristine environments. They are devoid of all life except maybe for a house pet here or there, but the emptiness and off-kilter sterility make the viewer wonder if it’s more important to have a clean house with no one to enjoy it, or a houseful of people creating havoc and disaster throughout.
Pennsylvania fabric artist McCavour has a different take on things. She produces what she calls “thread renderings” of current and former homes of hers. A thread rendering is essentially an embroidered picture on special fabric that dissolves when immersed in water.
“It’s a little bit different,” she admitted. “People find it to be an unexpected way to make drawings. I’m interested in the line of textiles, the line of thread.”
Because of their size and delicate nature, she has only two such installation pieces – Living Room and Stand In for Home – in the show. The first is much as you’d expect it: a representation of her former living room, complete with furniture, framed pictures on the wall, and objects on the floor including a stack of suitcases. It’s something that needs to be seen to be believed but all are composed entirely of thread, and the whole ensemble is hung from the ceiling by thread too, naturally.
“I think the visual is really interesting because the spaces in-between allow for this overlap to happen. The pieces appear kind of ghostly. I like how they’re there but they’re a bit hard to see. There’s something a bit strange about them.”
She added that this ethereality of the works adds somehow to the concept of how she’s trying to preserve these spaces that she lived in.
“The thread has a temporary feeling to it, a feeling that it could just wash away or fall away.”
She is currently pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Philadelphia with these creations as her main body of work.
Room opens tomorrow and runs until Saturday, November 2.
There will be an opening reception on Friday, October 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. MacFarlane will be in attendance.
The Art Gallery of St. Albert is located at 19 Perron Street. For more information on this exhibit or other art shows and programs, please call 780-460-4310 or visit www.artgalleryofstalbert.com.