Monday, June 7, 2010

First Story: Paula Wilson at the Fabric Workshop and Museum

It turns out I took a lot of photos during my 2+ month stint at the Fabric Workshop and Museum... but going through those photos now, almost a month after finishing the project, it's amazing to watch the transformations: basic, monotone, industrial felt was magically transformed into architecture... canvas and tempura paint became a cityscape. Here are (kind of a lot of) photos from the studio:

Industrial felt...

Jenna Eagan and I sewed this cornice the very first week we were here. It was only a taste of the giant-ass sewing to come.

Canvas and burlap.

We sent the drop to Paula in New Mexico so she could paint it. Here it is installed on an ingenious contraption made of plumbers pipe with snaps! SNAPS! On PIPES! These are the big leagues, my friends.

Sample #1, sample #2, photo, sketch...

Et Voila! Pretty grate...

Craft felt with a wire frame stuffed with polyfill and sewn on the industrial very carefully...

I like to think of this pillar as the Logan's Run Pillar... doesn't it just look like some overgrown stone garden? Somehow it's a vaguely sci-fi simulacra...

Fruit! We patterned a ton of fruit: pineapple, lemons, apples, grapes, pears, star-fruit...

Tiernan made these gorgeous braids for the cornices..

That's right: Butt cornices. (In process..)

Elisabeth is a Butt Cornice mastermind...

Fruity Butt Cornice? There was no end of the fun we had with this.

Installed by Elisabeth Roskos.

Monoprinted on silk, canvas and industrial felt.

(Attack of the giant pigeon!)

If you get a chance to go to the show (which clearly you should) see how many pigeons you can count throughout the gallery! So many pigeons...

Since light plays such a huge role in Paula's work another fantastic element to the FWM show was this sign- originally a real estate sign- collaged with scraps of silk organza. I love the relationship between the light coming in the real window and the light- also the shapes: the circle of the window and the circle of the moon. Even though I had never made this connection before, the architecture itself ends up being a reference to nature.

And when you turned around to view the other side of the sign, you make another visual connection between the moon in the sign and the sun-like circle in the stained-glass window. Beauty!

Each leaf and flower was made out of craft felt, industrial felt and stuffing...

and made into a decorative cornice- then combined with the stained glass window panels made of layers of silk organza.

Paula silk-screened her drawings onto lots of different shades of organza, then trimmed, layered and stitched together on a regular house-hold sewing machine.

The base is made out of quarter inch industrial felt and then painted gray to mimic cement or marble.

The windows were then sewn in by master seamtress and studio head Andrea Landau (assisted by myself and Jenna Eagan-shown here- and Tiernan- shown below.)

Serious seamstress street cred, man. For realz.

The window was then installed in the gallery on a plumbers pipe and connected to an amazingly beautiful hand sewn brick wall. I wish I had a close-up of the pipe tube which I engineered and constructed out of felt! It was kind of awesome.

Installed with another wall- monoprinted on canvas- with a black fabric grate. Wheat-pasted directly onto the wall is a collection of posters and drawings. The space itself was part of the inspiration that determined the work so I love how the posters connected the fabric walls we made in the studio and the brick wall of the gallery.

Mono and silk screened burlap curtains- painted and embellished- hung between collaged pillars. (Did you catch the hidden pigeons on the floor there? Yay!)

The show blends together installation and prints, tiny hand-stitched detail and overwhelming proportions. Paula Wilson's vision is an experience that deserves to be seen by everyone. Go See It! (It's up now and will be viewable at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philly until the fall.) And feel free to let me know what you think!


anderin said...

Excellent usage of "simulacra." Ten points to Hufflepuff!

AH said...

this looks incredible! thanks for posting pictures

jess said...

white. industrial felt. cornices. I'm in love.

p.s. it's Jessica - with my rarely updated blog.