FiberArts magazine - Contemporary Textile Art and Craft
Fiberart - HomeFiberart - Advertiser InfoFiberart - Contact Us Fiberart - View Cart
Fiberarts - Current Issue Fiberarts - Back Issues Fiberarts - Books Fiberarts - Competitions Fiberarts - Current and Coming Fiberarts - Resources

Sept/Oct 2006

Sampling: A Showcase of the Human Form

The Sampling department of our September/October 2006 issue is filled with artist expressions using the human body as inspiration. While the works take many forms, they share a sense of intimacy and familiarity stemming from our relationship with our own bodies.

Here we expand on our theme and show more work by our featured artists.

Nagakura Kenichi
Judy Mulford
Susan Crouse-Kemp
Jan Hopkins
Shari Urquhart
Bernie Leahy
Marilyn Pappas
Patti Shaw
Stephanie Lewis Robertson
Sara Gordon

Nagakura Kenichi Rooted in traditional baskets made for flower arranging at Japanese tea ceremonies, Nagakura’s vessels are inspired by human form and other objects in the natural world. His work often includes awase mutsumezashi, a technical term he coined to refer to a basic shape created with hexagonal plaiting that has many small strips of bamboo inserted into it.

(1) Nagakura Kenichi, Sky Being: Zazen, 2004; madake, bamboo branches; awase mutsumezashi; 18 1/2" x 7" x 16". Photo: Carolyn Wright. Courtesy of Tai Gallery/Textile Arts, Santa Fe.

(2) Nagakura Kenichi, Pure Elegance, 2003; madake; twining, awase mutsumezashi; 15" x 8" x 16". Photo: Carolyn Wright. Courtesy of Tai Gallery/Textile Arts, Santa Fe.

Return to Top

Judy Mulford With work honoring and celebrating the family, Mulford creates both cultural and autobiographical imagery through her monochromatic basketry. Made out of a range of materials, they depict all levels of society working together with one mission, pushing towards the future.

Judy Mulford, Nana Doll, 1998; waxed linen, polymer clay, antique buttons, pounded tin can lids, beads, plastic fine silver; looped; 11 3/4" x 8" x 4". Photo: Susan Einstein.

Return to Top

Susan Crouse-Kemp Featuring a broad range of subjects, the work of Crouse-Kemp never strays far from her fine-art training at the Colorado Institute of Art. Often using the tradition of figure drawing to explore new techniques, she ties the foundations of her education to her fiber work.

Susan Crouse-Kemp, Reflection, 2006; transferred artist drawing, dye; painted, embroidered; 33" x 20". Photo by the artist.

Return to Top

Aino Kajaniemi Viewing life through metaphors, Kajaniemi’s work is the product of layers. Objects often cover objects within the tapestry scenes she creates, conveying her message by both what is shown and what is hidden. Not believing in one single truth, Kajaniemi works in a series of scenes, which she feels can show the different sides of one life.

Aino Kajaniemi, Draping Series, 2005; linen, cotton, hemp, viscose, hair; tapestry; 23 1/2” x 17 3/4". Photo: Rune Snellman.

Return to Top

Jan Hopkins Often figurative, Hopkin’s sculptural baskets push the envelope using unusual natural materials (such as citrus and cantaloupe peels, and silver-dollar seed pods) seamlessly combined with traditional basket materials (such as waxed linen and cedar bark).

View larger image

Jan Hopkins, Dressed to the Nines, 2005; grapefruit peel, waxed linen, yellow cedar bark, paper; 20" x 14" x 9". Photo: Ken Rowe. Image courtesy of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Jan Hopkins, Under Cover, 2005; silver-dollar pods, rhododendron leaves, waxed linen, paper; 28" x 14" x 12".

Return to Top

Shari Urquhart Adding her personal vision to Renaissance masterpieces, Urquhart translates classic paintings into hooked rugs, reinventing them with her own personal touches and humor. Adding everything from jewelry to tiny ballerinas, Urquhart makes the works of her Fuzzy Museum series her own.

Shari Urquhart, Accessorized II—Maria de Medici, 2005; Persian wool, mohair, metallic acrylic, silk fibers; 30" x 36". This piece was inspired by Portrait of Maria de’ Medici by Agnolo Bronzino. Image courtesy of Cheryl Pelavin Fine Arts, New York.

Return to Top

Bernie Leahy Investigating the visual perception of memory, Leahy explores composition through inclusion and omission of detail. Her Leap series seeks to illustrate a moment of extreme physical exertion that has already passed.

(1) Bernie Leahy, Leap 1: In Action, 2004; cotton on calico; 15 3/4" x 19 3/4". Photo: Maurice Furlong.

(2) Bernie Leahy, Leap 2: Draw, 2004; cotton on calico; 15 3/4" x 19 3/4". Photo: Maurice Furlong.

Return to Top

Marilyn Pappas Using classical Greco-Roman sculpture to relate to issues of the world today, Pappas relies on our cultural biases to add another layer to her works. A veiled Greek sculpture of a dancing girl becomes a symbol of oppression, representative of women veiled by men in their cultures.

Marilyn Pappas, History Lessons: A Woman Veiled, 2005; cotton, linen, nylon; hand stitched; 118" x 60" x 3". Photo: Clive Russ.

Return to Top

Patti Shaw Seeing the faces she creates as a connection to both humanity and the spiritual world, Shaw often imagines a story to go with each face to further her intimacy with the work.

(1) Patti Shaw, Brother, 2005; unbleached muslin, textile paint, sequins, beads; painted, hand quilted, embellished; 27" x 20". Photo: Mark Frey.

(2) Patti Shaw, Norman, 2005; unbleached muslin, textile paint, sequins, beads; painted, hand quilted, embellished; 27" x 20". Photo: Mark Frey

Return to Top

Stephanie Lewis Robertson Working with the figure since she was fifteen years old, all of Robertson’s work is influenced by the figure, even if it is abstract. In her Sketch series, Robertson uses silk screens of her own figure drawings as the base.

Stephanie Lewis Robertson, Sketch Series 2: Repose, 2004; deconstructed silk screen on silk noil jacquard; direct painting, stitching; 24" x 18". Photo: WM Photographic.

Return to Top

Sara Gordon When creating her life-sized figures of women, Gordon is inspired by middle-aged, large women within her community that are comfortable in their own skin. The translucent animal gut she uses creates lightness in contrast to the mass of the women, which she sees as a statement against restrictive cultural body ideas.

(1) Sara Gordon, Complete, 2003; hog gut over clear plastic; 70" x 24" x 14". Photo: Kate Cameron.

(2-3) Sara Gordon, The Meeting, 2004; hog gut over clear plastic; 52" x 68" x 36". Photo: Sibila Savage.

This gallery first appeared
online in:

Sept/Oct 2006


Home ~ Current Issue ~ Back Issues ~ Competitions ~ Current & Coming ~ Subscriber Services
Advertiser Info ~ Contact Us

Fiberarts Magazine, 201 E. Fourth St., Loveland, CO 80537
Copyright 2010 Interweave Press, LLC.