work table : part one

I knew the first half of 2013 would be insanely busy and so far, it's rung very true. It's all good, it's just time management is not one of my strong points these days. I used to be a project manager for a 5,000 acre development and somehow it seemed effortless. I guess  calling yourself an 'artist' allows you to read a calendar more casually. So, what have I been up to?

Part one, the Land Grab Series ... I'm furiously working on the this series/installation. It's like pieces to a puzzle which hasn't been assembled yet except in my head. But here's some little tidbits. I'm making a series of white porcelain plates that will be part of a table setting or wall display. The plates depict actual farmland that has been land grabbed in various countries. These farms are so huge they're broken into these exact pieces by either rivers or man made roads. The blue is a map of the country that bleeds onto a table runner below. Pick up a plate, you've taken some land.

Upper left, Brazil. Upper right, Cambodia. Lower left, Cameroon.
These are sketches of how they'll be presented on a dark blue table runner which can also act as a wall panel. Lots of little white seed stitches ahead of me with the runners. And it will tie into the floor installations as well at some point. It's happening, just slowly! The plates are shaping up nicely and quickly, now that I understand the medium a little better. Of course they've just been bisque fired so you'll have to wait to see the finished product but here's a small scale test run I made in December.

A few Brazil plates in the making.
Here's my 'inspiration board' to give you an idea of the overall mood of the series. Yes, those are Paula Greif's charming little spoons in the upper left.

Since I've banned my computer in my studio, I had to print the images out for reference. To see them for yourself with wonderful links back to their makers, check out my Pinterest board "At the table ...". Part two is next and it's all about the Foreclosure quilts.


Foreclosure Quilts in Surface Design Journal

I'm thrilled to finally have the winter issue of Surface Design Journal in my hands. Writer and metalsmith, Gabriel Craig wrote a wonderful article on the Foreclosure Quilts.

Living in Detroit, Craig has seen what foreclosure can do to a city. His perspective comes through in his writing about the quilts. I couldn't have hoped for a better interview.

This June, the quilts will be on display at Gallery Nord in San Antonio, Texas in conjunction with the Surface Design Conference, Interface. I'll be at the conference this year so if you'd like to meet up, send me an email at kathryn(at)kathrynclark(dot)com. I look forward to meeting some of you in person!


Artist : Dana Barnes

Dana Barnes is already well known and respected as a fashion designer but her new line of felted objects is clearly her best yet. Barnes recently unveiled her Souled Objects line in a show entitled   at Ralph Pucci International, Gallery Nine, in late 2012.

 I had been hearing rumors and seeing little 'coming soon' images of her work for months. Yet, every time I hit the website, there was no data. At some point I gave up looking, so despondent.

And then, there it was, one day while reading my friend Lari's blog, images. Finally, images.

The work is gorgeous. Fat, knubby, natural fibers that twist and turn and lie beautifully on the floor. She clearly has a love of felt and natural fibers.

What really surprised me, though, was the story behind their creation. She made these felted pieces as a solution to complaints from downstairs neighbors about her daughters' loud footsteps on the wood floors.

What a gem of a solution for everyone, especially the kids. Can you imagine growing up with that? How cool they must think their mom is. If only mine thought the same.

You can see her pieces at her website, Souled Objects. Pour yourself a cup of tea before you sit down as it's a bit of a slow stroll through the work (I'm guessing that was on purpose). Read a wonderful article about the work in the New York Times here.


Current and Upcoming Shows

I feel as if I jumped into January headfirst this year. I knew I was going to be busy but had no idea just how much. While I've been busy in the studios, my work has been hanging quietly in galleries in the Bay area. Just a few days left to see my Riverside Foreclosure Quilt at the ProArts Gallery in Oakland as part of Naomi Beckwith's Dis/Order exhibition. The show ends this Friday, the 11th.

Riverside Foreclosure Quilt, 2012.
Opening this Friday, the 11th, my Cape Coral Foreclosure Quilt will be on display in a group show entitled Out of the Blue at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes Station, CA. Ruth Braunstein curated the show, she's one the grand dames of the San Francisco art world who has since retired but still gives a lot of passion to local artists. I'm honored that one of my quilts was chosen by her. It's also a full circle for me and my textile work as this was the first gallery to exhibit my Idiom Series. 

Cape Coral Foreclosure Quilt, 2011.
Out of the Blue runs from January 11th through February 3rd. The artists' reception will be this Sunday from 3-5. Click here for more information about the gallery.


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