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Woodturning News: General News

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL: Exhibit at Brockton’s Fuller Craft Museum challenges gender roles (12/20/2017)

Friday, December 22, 2017   (0 Comments)
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What do you see when you imagine a weaver or a wood turner? Most likely a woman at a loom and a man at the lathe.

That will change when you visit “Gender Bend: Women in Wood, Men at the Loom” at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton. It’s an exhibit filled with beautiful and intriguing works, made by male weavers and female wood turners.

“There continues to be cultural presuppositions about the masculine and feminine nature of applied handwork, and how they correlate to artistic and practical value,” wrote museum curator Michael McMillan in the introductory panel. “It is the hope of Fuller Craft Museum that (this) exhibition (will) transform the title ‘women wood turners’ into simply ‘wood turners’ and the same respectively for male fiber artists.”

Just as the artisans’ gender may surprise, so too do their creations. The woven works don’t just have colorful patterns, but some are tapestry like landscapes and portraits, made from wool, cotton, silk and metallic thread. The works in wood are not just bowls or vessels, but ones that look like a ceramic teapot, seeds and fruits, and ancient rock art, made from mahogany, redwood burl, African blackwood and other woods from around the world.

In “Wetland,” Urban Jupena wove a scene reminiscent of Monet’s “Garden at Giverny,” but actually is the view of a red walking bridge over a wooded and green wetland outside her window.

“It is about making something just for its own beauty — no political or earth-shattering statement — just a tapestry,” she wrote in the exhibit catalogue.

“NYNY,” by Klaus Anselm, is a bold-colored geometric weaving of purple, pink and orange skyscrapers, as though the surfaces reflect the setting sun.

“Young Icarus,” by exhibit co-curator Jon Eric Riis, is a rear view of a standing naked man in contemplation, and next to him are two large glistening wings made of blue and yellow feathers. It’s a thought-provoking work that asks, “Did Icarus (who in Greek myth plunged into the sea after he flew too close to the sun) know of his impending doom?” Riis asked.

“This is the tragic theme of failure caused by foolish pride, which unfortunately seems to exist well into the 21st century,” he wrote in the exhibit catalogue.

On a lighter, humorous note, “Lip Service,” by Dixie Biggs, is a cherry wood teapot painted in black paint, whose spout looks like a bright red puckered mouth and handle like a red lipstick. Many sensual lips decorate its side, making the piece look like it’s made of clay.

“Drying Apple and Ladybug” is a cross section of a boxwood apple, whose delicate flower-shaped core holds a tiny ladybug.

“My work points out little things in nature that most of us tend to disregard during our busy lives, and might present a small story which arouses quiet memories,” wrote wood turner Janel Jacobson.

Hayley Smith found her inspiration for “Handful” at Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, where the walls were covered in 700-year-old handprints of the Anasazi people. She inlaid overlapping dark and light handprints onto a round base, which seems to call out to be spun so that the three hands blur into one.

“I experienced a powerful urge to connect with these people, to place my hand palm-to-palm with the past,” she wrote.

View source and photos.



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