Fiber Revolution: A Survey of Styles

October 29, 2006

Fiber Revolution: A Survey of Styles
October 3 – 31, 2006

M. Christina Geis Gallery
Georgian Court University
Lakewood, NJ

Reviewed by Joanie San Chirico
www.joaniesanchirico.com

In this “Survey of Styles,” 25 of the 35 member Fiber Revolution group showcase their work in a non-juried, non-curated setting.Since the members send in whatever work is available, the lack of curatorial direction leads to a lack of cohesiveness. Fiber Revolution has saturated the North East with their exhibits. Since many of the same pieces are shown at different venues, perhaps a change of procedure is in order, to concentrate on producing higher quality exhibits rather than large quantities of exhibits.

One of the more interesting works is Kevan Lunney’s green/brown/purple “Pod”. It brings to mind Audrey from the Little Shop of Horrors, an apt subject this week before Halloween. The construction is ingenious and impeccable, using Velcro and zippers, making it possible to change the configuration at each venue. The work is quite large, standing over 4 feet tall and at least 3 feet wide. The presentation is well done, letting the viewer walk around the piece in order to see the surprise in the middle, which would have been more effective in a color other than bubblegum pink, possibly a deep blood red. The artificiality of the pink color detracts from the visceral and organic feel of the piece.

Pod Pod detail

Kevan Lunney – Pod – Pod detail

“Undercurrents” by Eileen Lauterborn uses tiny 1/8″ to 1/4″ strips of commercial fabric to depict an impression of static. Closer inspection shows unreadable hidden text under the static, perhaps an unexpected secret code masquerading under the colorful strips? The piece, despite its pretty colors, expresses the possibility of an unsettling message hiding just beneath the surface.

StaticStatic detail

Eileen Lauterborn – Undercurrents – Undercurrents detail

Lisa Chipentine’s piece, “A Sliver of Hope”, constructed in a crazy quilt-like format of rich, sensual silks and velvets offers a “tranquil softness” as one of the visitors to the exhibit aptly expresses in the group’s book in which patrons write their opinions about the exhibit and the work.

A Sliver of Hope

Lisa Chipetine – A Sliver of Hope

Judy Cuddihee abandons her usual theme of sexual imagery for this exhibit, and her “Meditation” piece is not as successful as some of the work that she has done in the past, in particular her “Release” series, which titillates the viewer into asking “Why?”

Meditation

Judy Cuddihee – Meditation

In “Victory”, Antoinette Hall uses a mud cloth large “V” shape as a central figure on a black background, hand quilted much like an Amish-type traditional quilt. The meaning of the piece is elusive, and the mud cloth is incongruous with the background.

Victory

Antoinette Hall – Victory

Fiber Revolution claims to be producing cutting edge work. However, much of the work in this show is dated and on the verge of trite; Barbara McKie’s work “Autumn in New England” comes to mind. The picture-postcard autumnal scenes are reminiscent of 1950’s wallpaper, which may not have been her intent. The members seem to be focusing on prettiness and a riot of colors and losing sight of content in the process. The result is the marginalization of the quilt as art.

Autumn in New England

Barbara Barrick McKie – Autumn in New England

On the whole, the exhibit is too crowded and the pegboard hanging system extremely distracting. In fact, since Gloria Hansen’s piece “Colorfields II” is mounted on smoke colored Plexiglas, the pegboard is visible through her framing system.

Colorfields II

Gloria Hansen – Colorfields II

The show would have been more successful with smaller work, perhaps hung on a “horizon line” around the room. Such disparate subjects as jumbled computer parts, jelly fish, frogs, and Madonnas make for a very chaotic exhibit, which seems to serve chiefly for the purpose of adding a line to the resumes of the exhibitors.

A proliferation of mediocre work does nothing to promote the Fiber Revolution group’s mission statement of “educating the public about fiber art as an exciting art form.”

An installation shot of the exhibit can be seen on the Fiber Revolution website here.

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