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Green Art at the Textile Museum, DC (and now online)

November 20, 2011

The Textile Museum in Washington, DC (always a place worth visiting) had an exhibition in 2011 that addressed many of the themes in this blog: Green: the Color and the Cause.  Now that the exhibition is closed, there is a link to great online info for this show. The show examines how the color green has been important in textiles globally as a hard-to-create dye, as a symbolic color, and as a thematic color.  And, of course, the show also looks at the idea of “green” textiles in the sense of their being made as comments on environmental issues and to highlight ways that low-impact fibers can be used to create beautiful objects.

The work runs the gamut, with some lovely pieces in every category.  You can find a lot of great images and information online at the link above, but here are a few of my favorites:

Check our William Knight’s Wall Tapestry (2009) made from tires found in New Jersey along the highway.  This work is abstract, like a 3D pen-and-ink drawing.  One can imagine how a single tire could have been shredded and stretched and rearranged into a wonderful netted maze.  Beautiful and thought-provoking.

Diane Banks’ Specimen #16 and #17 (2009) includes found plastic and other media like thread and paper.  These unusual objects and mysterious squashlike objects reuse discarded materials in a fascinating way.

Gyongy Laky’s wall-filling Alterations (2008) is made from apple tree cuttings, grapevine, nails, and wire.  It was the piece photographed for the cover of The New York Times Magazine’s “Green Issue” in the spring of 2008, combining a clear message (huge words made from plant materials) with meticulous and beautiful construction.  The tiny sticks are held together in a way that makes one wonder if it would fall apart if they were jostled, much like the “green” issue itself, under fire from a capitalist and consumerist society.


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