While studying jewelry design, many years ago, one of my favorite materials to work with, was diffrent kinds of soft materials and textile. When I heard about the group exhibition of weavers and Knotters at the Bedford gallery I was super excited to visit there, especially after a long time when museums and galleries were closed.
In the exhibition you can find artwork made by eleven women artists, that work with different techniques of weaving, macrame and knotting with wire, rope, yarn and even clay.
The size of the artwork varies from very small sculptures to large installations. The artists take the traditional techniques into modern, new forms. Each one of them has a unique story and different creative processes. All of them together create a beautiful mess and an exciting exhibition!
I'll be sharing with you the stories of three artists working with knots. The first one is Windy Chien, a sculptor and installation artist based in San Francisco, who works with different kinds of knots. In 2016 Chien decided to learn a new knot every day, for a year, which later turned into a book "The year of knots". After one year of studying and researching knots, she was drawn to their physical function, cultural significance, and aesthetic value. She developed different forms of knots, from her Circuit board series to minimal and monochromatic scupltures and to big room- sized installations. In the show you can see different bodies of her work and the beautiful journey of her lines.
Another knot artwork in the exhibition, made by Lisa Solomon, an oakland based artist, author, educator and a specialist in color theory. Solomon is profoundly interested in the idea of hybridization (sparked from her Hapa heritage, she is ½ Japanese and ½ Caucasian). Solomon’s mixed media works revolve thematically around discovering her heritage, domesticity, craft, feminism, and the pursuit of art as research. "Senninbari", her work in the exhibition, was inspired by research into the number 1,000, specifically as it relates to japanese culture.
The japanese are masters of the number thousand and there are many traditions that are grounded in this number. Symbolically if you can reach the goal of making a thousand of anything, you are rewarded with luck or a wish. Solomon created her thousand knot belt using hand dyed French knots. She likes that specific knot because it's small and dainty, yet strong. She cut down the spools and dyed each length in batches to create an ombre effect, Light pink to strong, Japanese red. Then she had to tie the knot, one thousand times and secured them with a nail for hanging. Her concept was to create something very powerful, made with a small, insignificant knot.
I was happy to discover some artists that I didn't know before, one of them is Hannah Perrine Mode. A multi-media artist and educator, who is influenced by science. Hannah has collaborated with environmental science and outdoor organizations around the world. She has spent her summers living and working on alpine glaciers in Alaska. Where she worked an extremely physical work, interacted with her environment and learned to use lifesaving knotting methods.
Knots became an essential function and fascinating aspect of life for her.
Perrine Mode uses the earth as her material, and enjoys working with clay. She sources the clay and digs it up from the ground. She practiced tying knots, invested a lot of time learning that skill in nature, and then practiced it more in her studio. For her it's a meditative process which holds a record of her physical body. In the show, next to her 150 clay knots, you can also watch a video of her tying knots as a performative ritual.
If you are around, make sure not to miss this heart touching exhibition, at Bedford gallery , open until June 13th 2021. And if you need a place near by to have your coffee or your lunch, don't hesitate to contact me, of course, I'll be happy to help.
Have a beautiful day
*All photos were taken by Inbal Ithachi Hayon