Making something with your hands can make life magical. It gives you the possibility to take life stories and transform them into works of art. Leanne Prain’s book “Strange Material: Storytelling through Textiles” is full of such examples.
Sewn narrations such as The Bayeux Tapestry, Indian kanthas, Chilean arpilleras, Hmong story cloth, and underground railroad quilts suggest that the theme of women’s art focuses on the everyday, love for the family, self-esteem, bonding and emotions in general. Crafting is often a catharsis that permits women to create a mental Space of One’s Own.
“Strange Material” explores the relationship between craft and the need to express one’s self by showcasing a number of contemporary artists who tell stories through textiles. There are colored photos on every page accompanied by related text. Thanks to this blog, I am familiar with most of the artists. But, grouped together as in this book, individual statements are more effective because they are expressed collectively.
Some of my favorites:
The book is broken down into three basic parts: stories about contemporary artists who use craft for storytelling, instructions for projects based on the work of a particular artist and “prompts”, suggestions for activating your creativity. Overall, I enjoyed the book very much. The only criticism I can make is that maybe too many pages were dedicated for project instructions.
The way we perceive the world around us determines the quality of our life. What are aesthetics if not a way of perceiving?
related links: Semir Zeki on visual cognition and neuro-aesthetics video+ Art, Perception and Indeterminacy + excerpt from “Dance, Aesthetics and the Brain” + How does perception influence our thinking?
If you would like to visit Southern Italy but have limited funds, this might be an idea to consider!
The reblogging of this article doesn’t do it justice but do visit Clare’s blog to find out more about exchanging physical help for a place to stay. If you are young (at least in spirit) and animated but with limited funds, this may be the perfect vacation for you!
And read my post about Clare here.
Scroll down to see Maira Kalman’s drawing ofa delightful Egyptian tapestry
Originally posted on Quartz:
The illustrator and author Maira Kalman will guest-curate one of the first exhibitions when the newly renovated Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum reopens in Andrew Carnegie’s former mansion in Manhattan this December. And for her show, Maira Kalman Selects, she reached beyond the museum’s collections, and into her own.
“There was just one thing missing from the Cooper Hewitt collection, and the entire Smithsonian,” she explained to Quartz—just a little facetiously—in the room that will house her exhibit. “Toscanini’s pants—the famous conductor. I’m loaning them to the show.”
Maira Kalman with Toscanini’s pants.
The Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini’s trousers are one of a handful of objects that Kalman will be lending to the museum from her personal collection of treasures (also: a pair of too-big brown Oxfords and a chaise lounge).
Otherwise, Kalman assembled her Selects from the Cooper Hewitt and Smithsonian’s collections, to suggest a life story told through personal design objects: an embroidered silk Mamluk cap from Egypt; Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch (restored…
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