“Ariadne Slept Here” refers to the complex myth of Ariadne known both for her threads and puzzles as well as for her resilience and that powerful sleep, most often depicted in the art world and the classics. Rachel Blythe Udell creates embroidery collages from heirloom clothing, yarn, reclaimed fabrics, and other materials. For Udell, the language of textiles is also that of connection, threading together identity, history, biology, and personal experience. Bonnie MacAllister renders in figurative embroidery, handspun threads, globally sourced farm wools and fibers, and recycled textiles. For MacAllister, the muscle memory of sewing is guided by recollections, a forgiving medium where every loop can be redone and undone, tacked and basted anew.
Rachel Blythe Udell and Bonnie MacAllister had a two person show in New York called “Jouissance :: Play” at et al projects in 2012. The two met at Holy Family University in 2009 for the exhibition MacAllister curated following her Fulbright-Hays to Ethiopia with the Women’s Caucus for Art. Udell had a wire and yarn sculpture in the show. The two realized they had crossed paths working at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They later collaborated as teaching artists at for a Free Library exhibit where the artists made collaborative books with girls in foster care. The artists have since showed in multiple group shows together.