Links of Interest

Embroidery Art is Thriving Across India

Since the pandemic started in India, the needle and thread have become a means of expression and creativity, with beautifully detailed works capturing the lives and worlds of the artist. In a culture that often dismisses embroidery as a ‘hobby’ or as ‘women’s work,’ these artists are creating a niche and even sustaining their livelihood through their art.

Intricate Beaded Motifs Add Colorful Dimension to Jan Huling’s Animal Sculptures

A former product designer turned bead artist, Jan Huling begins each sculpture with a blank form in the shape of a miniature horse, giant praying mantis, and eager monkey perched on a box. She then glues small glass pieces in meandering lines, concentric circles, and other elaborately constructed motifs. “I don’t sketch out designs beforehand,” she tells Colossal. “Rather I let my designs grow organically and let the work itself inspire me.”

The Subversive Power of Quilts: Legacy Russell on ‘The New Bend’

The New Bend, curated by Legacy Russell and currently on view at Hauser and Wirth, New York, looks at the raced, classed and gendered traditions of quilting and textile through the work of 12 contemporary artists. Its title is an explicit reference and homage to the quilters of Gee’s Bend, a Black women’s cooperative set up on a former slave-owning plantation in Alabama and which, since the 1960s, have become known for their intergenerational quilting practices and their striking, modernist compositions.

Hand-Dyed Paper Seeds Flow Through Sculptural Landscapes and Portraits by Ilhwa Kim

South Korean artist Ilhwa Kim describes her meditative sculptural works as analogous to living architecture, “a live plant or the tree in (an) urban or natural space.” Comprised of carefully placed components in parallel lines and dense fields, Kim’s pieces materialize through innumerable rolled paper seeds that form organic, abstract landscapes and portraits…

New Folk Art Museum Celebrates the Rise of Craft During the Pandemic

LOS ANGELES — At the Pandemic Folk Art Museum, the bright gallery is filled with colorful, hand-made rugs. There are wooly yellow squiggles popping off gray backgrounds and a reptilian clown, patchworked prints and an anxiety-ridden dog. Some rugs have wobbly lines that bleed out of their otherwise rectangular canvas, others embed mirrors into their plush surface.

Hundreds of Tiny Patchwork Bubbles Form a Colorful Geometric Quilt

What began as an early pandemic project designed to use up scrap fabric has resulted in an ingeniously designed field of color and geometries. “Tiny Bubbles” is a kaleidoscopic work by Marla Varner of Penny Lane Quilts in Sequim, Washington, that’s comprised of hundreds of curved pieces stitched into an abstract, variegated pattern of tiny rounds nestling into larger forms.

Tender Embroidered Portraits by Ruth Miller Are Tinged with Expressive Colors 

Beginning with a line drawing in pencil, U.S.-based artist Ruth Miller renders hand-embroidered portraits based on photos. Her wool tapestries and thread drawings layer stitches in yarns of both realistic and fanciful colors, creating expressive depictions that use the material’s texture to enhance light and shadow. “Coupled with realistic drawing, that tiny amount of physical depth brings the images closer, giving them a more immediate sense of presence… In the months that they’re still in my studio, the stories they tell become more concrete and nuanced in my mind, just as they would in a steadily lengthening conversation,” the artist writes.

Temperature Textiles Translate Climate Crisis Data into Colorful, Graphic Knits

Creating tangible records of weather patterns has been a long-running practice for crafters and designers interested in visually documenting the effects of the climate crisis over time. Daniera ter Haar and Christoph Brach, of the Eindhoven, The Netherlands-based studio Raw Color, join this endeavor with their new collection of knitted goods that embed data about temperature changes, the sea’s rising levels, and emissions directly within their products’ patterns.

Vintage Tapestries Cloak the Wings of Larysa Bernhardt’s Plush Moths

In a cozy studio overlooking a garden in Blackwell, Missouri, artist Larysa Bernhardt creates colorful moth sculptures with a needle and thread. Her fabric creatures are embroidered with old tapestries, often portraying historical people, animals, and delicate botanical forms on their wings: one specimen with a rusty orange abdomen depicts a little bird taking flight, while another is blue with a Medieval woman looking at a flower.

Dense Fields of Colored String Comprise Expressive Portraits by Artist Joshua Adokuru

Blending sturdy metal with the soft warmth of wool, Joshua Adokuru winds vibrant fibers around precisely placed nails that anchor his expressive and abstract portraits. The Abuja-based artist always incorporates strings in shades of blue, which fill amorphous shapes highlighting the subject’s face or defining the checkered pattern of a sweater. It’s “a natural color, a color of the sky, a color of the sea,” he says, noting that he gravitates toward bold, fantastical hues for skin tones. “Blue has this feeling of peace, a feeling of serenity.”

Knit Coral Suits and Vibrant Marine Creatures Spring From Mulyana’s Whimsical Yarn-Based Ecosystems

In Mulyana’s Fragile Ecologies, two figures cloaked in coral and algae tower over beds of fiber-based sea creatures. The Indonesian artist continues his playful and eccentric approach to marine life conservation in his solo show on view through March 4 at Sapar Contemporary, which brings some of his life-sized costumes and an array of woolen specimens to the gallery. Each piece is knit or crocheted with recycled, brightly colored yarn, which the artist fashions into sprawling ecosystems and immersive installations that dangle from the ceiling.