Exhibition on view until: Monday, August 17, 2020
Works by Rachel Blythe Udell
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Welcome to a corner of the universe that is not quite here, but not quite elsewhere. You’ve slipped into a pocket dimension. Here, in a somewhat softer version of reality, life forms, familiar and alien, grow into, over, and out of one another. They sing to each other. Their souls are vibrating. They blossom and curl and glitter and glow. They are made from one another. It is a place where nature echoes the boundless beauty we encounter in our world.
The ecosystem is harmonious. Everything thrives. There is no fear, pain, or death. Only endless, self-sustaining, burgeoning life. Is it a fantasy? Maybe. But it is also real. The inhabitants of this realm are all connected, existing only in relation to one another, reminding us that so are we—so do we.
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Rachel Blythe Udell makes sculptures and embroidery collages from heirloom clothing, yarn, reclaimed fabrics, and other materials. The language of textiles is also that of connection, threading together identity, history, biology, and personal experience. As human beings, we are part of an interacting, breathing membrane, transmitting and receiving the stuff of life between social and psychological systems, ecosystems, solar and cosmic systems. We flow, physically and emotionally, into our surroundings.
The materials she uses have their own histories, sometimes directly linked to hers, as in the case of familial clothing, sometimes not. Organic patterns in vintage laces and other textiles speak to one another, and seem to pulse with life. Always trying to minimize waste, she bundles together the scraps and ends from her crochet and embroidery pieces, to form new soft sculptural bodies. In this way, her work process literally begets new work, reproducing like a live organism.