Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Creative Crochet

My friend, Jan recently moved to Austin, Texas. We LOVE Austin! It's a great town, full of music, art and great people. Jan found this article in the Austin Chronicle and thought of me...wonder why? I just had to share this with you, you and especially, YOU, Regina!!!

Arts Review

"Elaine Bradford: Freaks of Nurture" Women & Their Work, through March 31

Elaine Bradford melds two extreme forms of domestic kitsch – taxidermy and needlework – to create hybrid objects with open-ended significance. The Houston-based artist's embellished deer heads were featured at Okay Mountain last summer in "Outside In," a two-person show with photographer William Hundley. At Okay Mountain, Bradford connected the antlers of crochet-covered deer heads with looping strands of striped stitching, making a playful network of red- and aqua-colored yarn that snaked across the ceiling's metalwork from one mount to another. With "Freaks of Nurture" at Women & Their Work, Bradford further exploits the shock effect engendered by the convergence of polar opposites: masculine and feminine, violence and nurture, artificial and natural, freakish and conventional.

Stepping into the gallery is like walking into a really weird basement, minus the faux-wood paneling. At one end of the room, a crochet-covered antelope head lolls on the floor, connected to its mount by a thick umbilical cord of baby blue, light yellow, and dark-brown yarn. Two masked deer heads attached to a double mount hang on the opposite wall, a conspicuous row of buttons closing up the gap between their two faces.

Bradford bluntly reinforces the distinct feeling that you've entered a mutant world – she even titled one work Crossbreeding a Doe With Your Grandmother's Afghan. In this piece, a crochet-covered, taxidermied doe head mounted on one wall is linked to a huge striped circle of crocheted yarn that nearly covers a wall nearby. Crocheted ropes that pull the circular piece slightly off the wall, producing a cone, attach these two elements. As a formal experiment, it's beautiful work. Factor in the doe's head and the title, though, and it's not quite clear if this is the manifestation of a farmhouse daydream or a nightmarish parallel universe.
ADDENDUM: Thanks to Mary Jo, check out this site to see Artists' other works.



At 3:10 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG!!! Ellen!
These are awesome!


At 3:40 PM PDT, Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Holy crap. And I just thought that was an unusally long llamallamallamallamallamallamallamallama. And an ineffective anteater.

Kinda makes the VLA and the Zombie Eyeballs seem normal...But only by comparison.

At 3:50 PM PDT, Blogger LadyLinoleum said...

Very cool! Reminds me of the bigger crocheted stuff I used to work up in grad school although mine had a decidedly human anatomical feel, if you know what I mean.

Very cool stuff indeedy!

I'll be there tomorrow, btw. I'm bringing my grill bag...

At 7:30 PM PDT, Blogger Madge said...

Okay. Creepy. This post made me realize my artistic limitations - like, I can't do crochet with dead things. (similar to seeing SRL shows - freaks me out) I'm so bourgeois!

At 8:21 PM PDT, Blogger mj said...


At 8:30 PM PDT, Blogger mj said...

Check this out. I love her!

At 8:20 AM PDT, Blogger Jason said...

These are great! Fabric art seems to getting more press and has a ton of momentum.


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