Threading the Way through LTextile

Jurga Sarapova, Little Mermaid, 2009. Background: Sickle, 2010

Jurga Sarapova, Little Mermaid, 2009. Background: Sickle, 2010

Show me a needle and thread and I’ll probably run the other way – thanks to a Lucille Balle like affinity for taking simple diy projects and making them explode.

So when Krista Bard invited me for a Saturday tour of the Philadelphia Art Alliance‘s current show LTextile: Contemporary Textiles from Lithuania, it was with a fair amount of trepidation that I accepted her offer.

It was here that I’d find the patience that continues to elude me, woven into tiny figures in the shape of mugs and sickles, or painstakingly crocheted in the surface of metal watering cans and ladles. It’s stitches of time made visible, with the work of Lithuania’s agrarian society finding expression through its artists.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is a piece by Vita Geluniene based on a famous series of tapestries from the Middle Ages: The Hunt of the Unicorn. IMG_0511But it was the video behind the making of the tapestry that kept me glued to a seat for 15 minutes. (The video itself was much shorter.)

The video begins as an explanation of the whimsical husband and wife characters that appear in the tapestry, and then turns into a series of women discussing the confusion of first love and bucking against societal pressures to have children. There’s something immediately and fiercely identifiable in these women. It’s girl talk that could just as easily fit into a lunchtable discussion with the Pink Ladies or drinks with Carrie Bradshaw – except with frolicking demons providing a backdrop.

IMG_0526We stumbled upon a family kind enough to help us translate the text in a piece by Jurate Petruskeviciene, “Lithuanian Press Ban (1864 – 1904).” The embroidered text, written in the Lithuanian language yet using letters from the Cyrillic alphabet, reflects the Lithuanian people’s resourcefulness in keeping their language alive during the Russian Empire’s attempts to eliminate all instances of Lithuanian nationalism.

“Life like one moment passes quickly,” the red letters read. The concise poetry hidden in this one line reflects the mood of the entire show: strange beauty, poignant humor, ageless truth.

IMG_0541We parted ways over dinner – a carpeted dinner by Egle Ganda Bagdoniene. I was transported immediately back to childhood, when countless hours were spent grazing plastic horses on the thick green carpet in my bedroom, or finding the mermaids hidden deep within the blue carpet in my sister’s room.

There are worlds of imagination trapped within the textures and colors of fiber. Sometimes it just takes an artist to help remember that.

Stephanie Rogers is an InLiquid artist member.
Stephanie Rogers
Stephanie Rogers

Stephanie Rogers is an InLiquid artist member.…

Stephanie Rogers is an InLiquid artist member.…

Stephanie Rogers is an InLiquid artist member.…

Caitlin McCormack is an InLiquid artist member.
Caitlin T. McCormack
Caitlin T. McCormack

Caitlin McCormack is an InLiquid artist member.…

Caitlin McCormack is an InLiquid artist member.…

Caitlin McCormack is an InLiquid artist member.…

Fran Lightman Gibson a Philadelphia painter working primarily with oil on canvas.
I attribute the source of my artistic inspiration to my love, fear, and awe of nature as it both represents and defines the tension and optimism of life. My “Take Any Road Series” encourages the viewer to have the confidence to experience life no matter how difficult or confusing, beautiful, or powerful. All of this exists with an underlying structure of assumptions.
I think we all see the world a little differently and feel our own experience uniquely.  I paint using what all of my senses have given to me as the experience.  When I paint the sky, I am feeling the wind, putting it to music in my head, remembering the smell of the chance of rain, tasting the air, seeing the clouds dance. 
Fran Lightman Gibson
Fran Lightman Gibson

Fran Lightman Gibson a Philadelphia painter working primarily with oil on canvas.
I attribute the source of my artistic…

Fran Lightman Gibson a Philadelphia painter working primarily with oil on canvas.
I attribute the source of my artistic inspiration to my love, fear, and awe of nature as it both represents and defines…

Fran Lightman Gibson a Philadelphia painter working primarily with oil on canvas.
I attribute the source of my artistic inspiration to my love, fear, and awe of nature as it both represents and defines the tension and optimism…

Heather Ossandon, a ceramist who works in both the functional and decorative arts. Her work explores both the rituals of the everyday and special occasions.
Heather Ossandon
Heather Ossandon

Heather Ossandon, a ceramist who works in both the functional and decorative arts. Her work explores both the rituals of…

Heather Ossandon, a ceramist who works in both the functional and decorative arts. Her work explores both the rituals of the everyday and special occasions.…

Heather Ossandon, a ceramist who works in both the functional and decorative arts. Her work explores both the rituals of the everyday and special occasions.…

As a native of Israel, Dganit grew up in a Kibbutz. She moved with her husband to the US in 1992. After years of creating art as a self-taught artist, she became a full time student at UNC Chapel Hill. Moving to Philadelphia, she earned her BFA with honors from the University of The Arts, and MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art. Currently, she is working in her studio at the Crane Old School in Philadelphia.
In her work she is pulling from her reservoir of life experiences, memories, intuitive processes, and curiosity to construct a “place”, an environment – a landscape. Within it, she aims to present an idea composed of multiple layers, which focuses not only on the physical “being” of land, but also on land as a source of emotional and psychological mood.
Dganit Zauberman
Dganit Zauberman

As a native of Israel, Dganit grew up in a Kibbutz. She moved with her husband to the US in 1992. After years of creating…

As a native of Israel, Dganit grew up in a Kibbutz. She moved with her husband to the US in 1992. After years of creating art as a self-taught artist, she became a full time student at UNC Chapel Hill.…

As a native of Israel, Dganit grew up in a Kibbutz. She moved with her husband to the US in 1992. After years of creating art as a self-taught artist, she became a full time student at UNC Chapel Hill. Moving to Philadelphia,…

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