With all the sewing buzz lately, it's no wonder that more mixed medium artists are starting to use stitching in their illustrative and visual work. I love the way stitches read in 2 dimensions. The addition of some zig-zag, embroidery or straight meanderings can change the character of a perfectly beautiful picture into something more careful, with all the emotional depth that frequently accompanies the hand sewn object. Tactility should never be under rated.
This reminder came in the form of some pretty sweet art up currently at Rare Device in San Francisco. The show Let's Get Lost features pieces, both textiled and not, by artist Sarajo Frieden. This lady hails (originally) from my new home, Oakland, CA, and her work aims to explore the destinations one finds when surrendering to unpredictability. She says,"I may start out with intentions, thoughts, sketches or preconceived ideas about where I want to go. But at some point, I usually surrender any expectations to follow the roadless map that is creating. It is not a linear journey, and it's easy to get lost. But isn't that the point? How else would Pina Bausch's dancers find their way to the house in Mon Oncle?"
It's like finally understanding that everything is a big crazy mess, that everyone is actually a little insane and despite all of this, we're still okay. For me, it was a well-timed reminder of a lesson I thought I'd learned a long time ago. And much as I'm not sure I can say I glean all of that from these playful little sewn drawings, I've found that such issues of gigantic proportion are often best tackled with small gestures, especially playful ones.
Show's up til November 8, if you're in the neighborhood.