Tuesday, February 23, 2010

oversize samplers

I am loving the samplers, often over sized, by the artist Bren Ahearn. Bren will have one of his works in the exhibit Designing Thread at Mt. Ida College an exhibit that I am also participating in.

Bren makes work that appears as a traditional sampler but is usually quite subversive in its quotation by questioning and challenging the ideas of masculinity.

In addition he has also made some very beautiful embroideries of male wrestlers sparring.

Stripping the images down to a simple contour drawing on a thin organza or similar material. You are left with the heaping bodies laying a top of one another.

His older work often is a bit tongue and cheek in there critique and concept but just as intriguing.

His statement mentions his closet craft practices:

Growing up as the son of a craft-loving English teacher, I spent many hours pursuing crafts and playing Scrabble. As I grew older, I believed that in order to fit in with my peers, I had to be in the closet about my crafting, eventually stopping my creative activities altogether. My Scrabble playing, however, continued and turned into a life-long love of the study of language that intersects with my current art practice...

In 1996, I signed up for a textiles class, thereby reawakening my dormant artistic side. I am attracted to textiles because textiles are like language – both are subtle, yet powerful. Also, both can protect, expose, reveal social position, and show affiliation. I later learned that the words textile and text are derived from the same root, and several of my earlier pieces are focused on this text-textile connection.

See more of his work here.


Elizabeth said...

Congratulations with this new exhibition. Wanted to thank you for mentioning this exhibition because it gave me a chance 'to meet' some new embroiders.

Bren Ahearn said...

Hi Joetta,

Thanks for the glowing report! I look forward to finally being in a show with you! Best, Bren

Joetta M. said...

elizabeth0 yes, i am excited about checking out the other artists work too. many of which i am sure will be featured here.

bren- my pleasure i really enjoy your work. i am bummed to not be able to come to the opening as I will be having a baby right around then but if you go and take pictures please send them my way.

Bren Ahearn said...

Hi Joetta,

Congratulations on the arrival to come soon! I'm afraid I won't be there either -- I'm in Sacramento. Take care, B.