Project Highlight | Walking Libraries (2016-2019)

Project Highlight | Walking Libraries

Old Traces of the New Year

Posted on: Friday, December 28, 2007

As 2008 beckons, we look for traces of those things we hope to carry with us to steer us into the New Year. Which impressions, imprints, or mental maps will continue to guide us into territory both familar and uncharted?

I am reminded of the work of my Iranian artist friend Ahmad Nadalian and his cylinder seal sand drawings and environmental installations. I love that Nadalian uses ancient technology to generate new ways of viewing the landscape and the fragility of our relationship to it. A fitting metaphor perhaps as we adopt old ways to look at the outline of the new in the year that lies ahead.

Regeneration and Reseeding

Posted on: Sunday, December 09, 2007

Regeneration 01 (2007) paper, fiber, vegetation

One of the great things about taking a bit of time off from one's creative work is that materials seem so fresh and new when one returns to previous art projects. There is also an opportunity to reseed one's pieces with more fertile, incubated notions. I used to create primarily works on paper - drawings, collages, and mixed media pieces - but now I am totally enamored with the particles and ethereal bits that constitute the life cycle of paper. Regeneration requires risk. I have to remind myself to sometimes let go and simply throw things to the wind.

Regeneration 02 (2007) paper, fiber, vegetation

Regeneration 03 (2007) paper, fiber, vegetation

Regeneration 06 (2007) paper, fiber, vegetation

Fiber National 2007 Exhibit

Posted on: Monday, August 13, 2007

above image: Oocyte 03 (2007), crocheted fiber, silk thread, vintage spools, Abigail Doan

Fiber National 2007, a curated exhibit of contemporary fiber art, opened this past Friday at The Lancaster Museum of Art in Lancaster, PA. I have two pieces in this year's exhibit - Oocyte 01 and Oocyte 03, mixed media/fiber form sculptures created during the spring of 2007.

Gail M. Brown, an independent curator of contemporary craft, comments in the exhibit's catalogue that "as a juror for Fiber National 2007, (she) was inspired and gratified by the diversity of imagery in the applicant pool. From works of beautifully executed traditional design, minimalist geometric form and classic hand and machine work techniques emphasizing order, simplicity, and cadent repetition to a gamut of other works of asymmetric exploration, digital and other experimentation, structural complexity, surface excess and rhythmic chaos...What makes an exhibition meaningful? Ideas and objects: diversity, breadth, contrasts, content, intentions, authenticity, technical challenges, prowess, and passion."

Fiber National is on view from August 4 through September 9, 2007.

above image: Fiber National catalogue's front cover; featured image of Crop Circle II, Shannon Weber

Design Stories | Knit Chair and Sponge Seating

Posted on: Monday, July 23, 2007

While recently perusing the website of one of my favorite home design stores, Branch, I was reminded once again of the innovative work of Emiliano Godoy, an industrial designer, architect, and sustainable product visionary from Mexico City. 

The Knit Chair (2004) consists simply of wood panels and cotton rope (which neatly holds everything together) and is manufactured by Pirwi. The wood material is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified and is available in either beech or white oak.

Branch also offers Godoy's Z Bench (2005) made from (FSC-certified) beech, pine, or maple with a seat of zacate (natural loofah sponge).

Learn more about Emiliano Godoy's projects here.

Peter Coffin's Horti-Couture

Posted on: Monday, July 16, 2007

Peter Coffin's current solo exhibit, 'Tree Pants', now on view at The New York Horticultural Society, provides a tongue-in-cheek peek at the frequency with which we 'anthropomorphize' natural forms or unsuspecting species. Jodie Vicenta Jacobsen, the exhibit's curator, has done an exquisite job of transplanting the gorgeous photographic images of Coffin's site-specific 'Tree Pants' series previously created during a range of seasons at Wanas Sculpture Park in Malmo, Sweden.

The custom pants or jeans were produced by the artist in conjunction with Levi Strauss & Co. and play on the notion that our everyday perspective and relationship to nature is often ridiculously anthropomorphic, illogical, and down-right stupid as well.

Accompanying the installation of photographic images is a naked dried sunflower sculpture wearing miniature pants, too humorous and quirky for words. The gallery also has two glass cases on display featuring ideas and studies for Coffin's forthcoming (spring 2008) 'Untitled Plant Book' to be produced in conjunction with The New York Horticultural Society (NYHS), The Precipice Alliance, 2x4 design studio, and his summer 2008 shows at Andrew Kreps Gallery and again at NYHS. The proposed book images are artfully laid out and arranged like psychedelic leaves on a forgotten forest floor.

The above images were taken by Abigail Doan at NYHS in July, 2007.

The depiction of the materials for the forthcoming,'Untitled Plant Book' are photographs taken of one of the display cases on view.

Design Stories | The Studio Craft Movement

Posted on: Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently showing One of a Kind: The Studio Craft Movement featuring curated craft pieces on view in the museum's Modern Architecture and Design Gallery now through September 3, 2007. 

'The studio craft movement developed in the United States during the post–World War II years. By the 1970s in both Europe and the United States, a shifting political climate and an "anything goes" art scene encouraged a new freedom of artistic expression.'

Select pieces from the exhibit include fiber works by Sheila Hicks and Norma Minkowitz and glazed earthenware by Tony Marsh.

Sheila Hicks, "Linen Lean-To" (1967-68), linen

Norma Minkowitz, "Boundary" (1989), fiber, paint, pencil, shellac

Tony Marsh, "Trilobed Vessel and Contents" (2002), glazed earthenware

Early Morning at Linari

Posted on: Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Given that my husband Ludmil and I have not been able to travel to Italy yet this summer due to our pregnancy with twins, I have been revisting archived photos of our early morning walks around Linari's fields and hillsides.

It is truly remarkable how industrious the spiders and insects are at dawn as they weave, knit, and drape the most elaborate canopies over the dew-laced vegetation.

The microcosmic seems to take precedence over the sweeping views of familiar hillsides. I like this other lense with which to process the classic Tuscan landscape. It speaks more to the craft and sustenance of place rather than to the painterly, light soaked scenes we often associate with this part of Italy.

Prehistoric Fish Found in Central Park

Posted on: Thursday, May 24, 2007

A week or so ago my Iranian artist friend, Dr. Ahmad Nadalian, visited New York City and several other US cities on an official invite for a sponsored exhibition that he was having in Washington, D.C. I met him on a bright, sunny morning in the northern woods of Central Park where he was carving several of his 'prehistoric' river art fishes. Dr. Nadalian has a long tradition of submerging his carved rocks in rivers and bodies of water where they might forever add to the spirit and environmental protection of the place. The artist also views the fish symbol as being emblematic of the human soul.

Amazingly, before tossing one of his carved rocks into a pool below a rushing waterfall, a local turtle made an appearance adjacent to the rock that was soon to be submerged. A sign perhaps that the native species of an urban park approve of this new addition to their habitat?

For more information on Dr. Nadalian's river art projects visit his website.

Connectivity and Crafting Residency

Posted on: Monday, May 14, 2007 is a wonderful online journal and dedicated network of artists, architects, designers, and ecologists working in and for the landscape. They are currently featuring my article, Returning to and from THE LAND: Connectivity and Crafting Residency, a follow up to my September 2006 artist residency in rural New Mexico.

Knit Knit 7 | Lacemaking & Placemaking

Posted on: Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Knit Knit, the biannual publication dedicated to the intersection of traditional handcraft and contemporary art, now has Issue 7 available online and in select museum, knitting, and book shops. The format of this latest edition is a newspaper - a leaflet manifesto of sorts. There is a great line up of articles and work by folks like Trevor Pitt, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Liz Collins, Allison Smith, Emily Drury, Danica Maier, Cat Mazza, Elizabeth O'Donnell, and Veronica Wiman. I have an article in Issue 7 called, 'Lacemaking and Placemaking', in conjunction with the current exhibit, 'Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting' at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.

On Ice Exhibition | Field Report

Posted on: Monday, January 22, 2007

I am currently participating in a group show called "On Ice" at the Williams Center Art Gallery at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. The exhibit, which runs from early January through February 11, 2007, was curated by the multimedia artist Kathy Bruce. What I love about this show is the selfless, warm synergy between artists and scientists. Some of the pieces employ ice as a medium, while others examine its fragility, resiliency, and its role as a harbinger of environmental instability.

Stacy Levy's "Ice Clock" is a constant reminder of the passage of time, the race for global solutions, and the impact of our often land-locked decisions on the both immediate future and our long-range view.

Buzz Spector's, "Freeze Freud" (2001), a dye infusion POLAROID print, penetrates the layers of the psyche and humanity's permafrost-stasis and goads us into considering how long our sentiments and possessions can be archived and stored.

Not pictured in this report is the remarkable Ice Cello performance video by Joan Jeanrenaud, Tara O'Brien's ice book, "Natural Elements", and Marshall Reese's political commentary, time-lapse video called, "The State of Things", in which the word democracy is sculpted and then melts, cracks, and slowly dissolves before the viewer's gaze. Many wonderful artists, writers, book makers, photographers, and scientists contributed to this exhibition effort. Kathy Bruce, the curator, and Michiko Okaya, the gallery director, have really set up an (ice) flow of related activities and lectures as well.

On Monday, January 29 at 8pm, the ornithologist Dr. George Divorsky of The University of Alaska at Fairbanks will speak at Lafayette College on "Watching the Arctic Melt Away: Three Decades of Change from a Warming Globe".

Crocheted Snow 03, fiber, ice, and vegetation, Abigail Doan (2006)

Go to The Williams Center Art Gallery website for more information:

All of the above images were taken by Abigail Doan

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