Symposium Exhibition: Between
Between: Layering Context in Patchwork
Curated by Molly Evans Fox
Exhibiting Artists: Sonja Dahl, Jess Jones, Rachel Meginnes
Quilts as painting. Quilts as sustenance. Quilts as documents of socio-economic history. The works selected for this exhibition exist on the fringes of expectation for patchwork. Each artist layers meaning into the work with actions unique to their processes: collecting, dissecting, painting, sanding, stitching, drawing, researching, dyeing, building, placing, concealing, and revealing.
‘Between: Layering Context in Patchwork’ features the quilt form explorations of three prominent, cross-disciplinary textiles artists traversing the implicit currents within the quilt medium. Each artist references the quilt directly or indirectly by questioning the form’s materiality in relation to the context of her research. Through layered topographical quilt forms, mixed media painting on deconstructed quilts, and site-specific installations, Jones, Meginnes, and Dahl deeply investigate the themes of land, labor, and the port, respectively. They will present their unique research while sharing the common grounds of the history of the quilt, the work of the hand, and contemporary contexts.
Sonja Dahl is a textile artist and Fulbright scholar based out of the Bay Area, California. Her primary focus is indigo and its history, and Dahl is currently examining colonization, slavery, and the historic context for the companion crops of indigo and rice. Dahl brings forth an installation of indigo-dyed rice in a classic patchwork pattern which examines the cycle of labor, power and trade, and slavery, all authored by a lust for blue in the colonial American South. Dahl will bring forth important considerations of port which so poignantly probe our history of trade—be it people, crops, or cloth.
Jess Jones, Assistant Professor of Textiles at Georgia State University and former Artist-in-Residence at the Appalachian Center for Craft, researches topography and questions land as evidenced by the changing Atlanta landscape through altered quilts. Jones sources handmade quilts locally and reads them for evidence of the maker. She then adds a third layer to the quilt, referencing Atlanta neighborhood topographies. The original makers of these blankets are, presumably, her neighbors; the finished works are intended to continue a dialog with them. This permanent alteration speaks to the idea of individual hidden beneath a changing socio-economic landscape which affects many.
Rachel Meginnes, Former Penland Artist-in-Residence and Visiting Textiles Instructor at Earlham College, questions the value of labor in quilts. Found quilts are often in disrepair, saved from an inevitable trip to the landfill by the owners’ perceived value and appreciation of the time and effort used to make them. Meginnes’ meticulous process borders on ritual, her intense method is comprised of deconstructing a quilt stitch-by-stitch, alternating layers of paint and brutal power sanding until the finished artwork is a collaboration of new and old, hand and machine labor. The finished “quilt”, now devoid of function, is forever suspended as a meditation on a history of labor.
Molly Fox is a textiles artist and independent curator based in Bloomington, IN. Her exhibitions tend to fall into two camps: Educational, exhibitions which intend to lift the veil of mystery surrounding the artists’ process and research, and Stimulating, exhibitions whose artists push the boundaries of the media with which they are most closely associated. Her past curatorial endeavors have included Collaborative Design: Great Minds Think Together, Septentrion: Exploring the Arctic Circle, Role Playback: A Second Look at Music Video Production, and Throw: Innovations in Modern Quilt Design at the Union Art Gallery of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
All exhibitions have been organized in partnership with Art Rise Savannah