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Woodturning News: General News

WICKED LOCAL: Fuller Craft exhibit challenges gender norms (11/8/2017)

Thursday, November 9, 2017   (0 Comments)
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What do you see when you imagine a weaver or a wood turner? Most likely a woman at a loom and a man at the lathe.

That will change when you visit “Gender Bend: Women in Wood, Men at the Loom” at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton. It’s an exhibit filled with beautiful and intriguing works made by male weavers and female wood turners.

“There continue to be cultural presuppositions about the masculine and feminine nature of applied handwork, and how they correlate to artistic and practical value,” wrote museum curator Michael McMillan in the introductory panel. “It is the hope of Fuller Craft Museum that (this) exhibition (will) transform the title ‘women wood turners’ into simply ‘wood turners’ and the same respectively for male fiber artists.”

Just as the artisans’ genders may surprise, so too do their creations.

The woven works don’t just have colorful patterns; some are tapestry-like landscapes and portraits made from wool, cotton, silk and metallic thread.

The works in wood are not just bowls or vessels. There are ones that look like seeds and fruits, a ceramic teapot and ancient rock art. The woods that were used include mahogany, redwood, African blackwood and others from around the world.

In “Wetland,” Urban Jupena wove a scene reminiscent of Monet’s “Garden at Giverny,” but it actually is the view of a red walking bridge over a wooded and green wetland outside her window.

“It is about making something just for its own beauty – no political or earth-shattering statement – just a tapestry,” Jupena wrote in the exhibit catalog.

“NYNY,” by Klaus Anselm, is a boldly colored geometric weaving of purple, pink and orange skyscrapers. It’s as though the surfaces are reflecting the setting sun.

“Young Icarus,” by exhibit co-curator Jon Eric Riis, is a rear view of a standing naked man in contemplation, and next to him are two large glistening wings made of blue and yellow feathers. It’s a thought-provoking work that, according to Riis, asks, “Did Icarus (who in Greek myth plunged into the sea after he flew too close to the sun) know of his impending doom?”

“This is the tragic theme of failure caused by foolish pride, which unfortunately seems to exist well into the 21st century,” Riis wrote in the exhibit catalog.

On a lighter, humorous note, “Lip Service,” by Dixie Biggs, is a black-painted cherrywood teapot with a spout that looks like a bright-red puckered mouth and handle like a tube of red lipstick. Many sensual lips decorate its side, making the piece look like it’s made of clay.

“Drying Apple and Ladybug” is a cross section of a boxwood apple, the delicate, flower-shaped core of which holds a tiny ladybug.

“My work points out little things in nature that most of us tend to disregard during our busy lives, and might present a small story which arouses quiet memories,” wrote wood turner Janel Jacobson.

Hayley Smith found her inspiration for “Handful” at Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, where the walls were covered in 700-year-old handprints made by the Anasazi people. She inlaid overlapping dark and light handprints onto a round base, which seems to call out to be spun so that the three hands blur into one.

“I experienced a powerful urge to connect with these people, to place my hand palm to palm with the past,” she wrote.

If you go:

What: “Gender Bend: Women in Wood, Men at the Loom”

Where: Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak St., Brockton

When: Daily, through March 11. Closed Mondays.

Information: 508-588-6000; fullercraft.org

View source and photos.





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