Saturday, May 18, 2013

Form, Not Function

I got to go to the opening reception of Form, Not Function at The Carnegie in New Albany, Indiana. I have to say, I really enjoyed myself--good music, wine, food, and great art. This is the tenth anniversary of Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie, and the art will be on display from May 10-July 13, 2013. Since this is the tenth anniversary, a catalogue has been printed for the 2013 exhibition and is available for purchase. The Carnegie has planned what they call a "Summer of Fiber Art" with Form, Not Function being followed by an exhibition of artworks by the members of the Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists (LAFTA) that will be on view July 26 - October 5, 2013.

I only took a few pictures at the show; I wanted to whet your appetite to view the exhibit in person. My first pictures are of a three-dimensional piece by Linda Witte Henke called Generosity. This piece was given the Award for Political and Social Commentary presented by Kathleen Loomis on opening night. Here is Linda with her piece.

This is the narrative that goes with the piece.

(1 Kings 17:8-24)

Scripture describes an impoverished widow who provided hospitality to the prophet Elijah at the height of a devastating drought and famine. After generously sharing what little she had, her depleted supplies of grain and oil were miraculously replenished.

Thirst. Hunger.

Drought is both lack of water and longing for refreshment; famine is both absence of food and yearning for fullness.

Hoarding. Sharing.

We struggle to discern what our humanity asks of us, justifying our choices with tales of abundance and scarcity, ignoring the essential emptiness at the root of our struggle, turning away from the one Source able to satisfy our deepest longings.

Look with compassion on my circumstance. Empathize with my dilemma. But, both in times of abundance and scarcity, remember my generosity and practice the miracle of sharing.

I took this close up so you would have some idea of the complicated surface design of the cloth used to construct the piece.

Close up of Generosity.
The winner of the 2013 Best of Show is Betty Busby's Retia. This piece is made of hand-woven cotton, velvet, mohair, cotton cording, and kitchen string. It is hand and machine quilted and includes hand couching. If you look closely at the piece, you will see that the piece has many seed stitches.

I have been a big fan of Betty Busby since the first time I saw her work. The subject matter is always interesting, the design is spot on, and the quality of work is meticulous.

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