April 21 – May 19
There are threads which run through all of our lives. In Threading Lightly, New York artists Heather Marcus and Zoe Sheehan Saldaña, show us the possibilities for interlacing them into singular patterns. The exhibition will open on Saturday, April 21 with a reception for the artists from 5 to 7pm and continue through May 19.
A woman in her twenties, Saldaña work is very much of her age. While the final product appears as a cross-stitched canvas, it does not fall into the realm of “handiwork”. Each work begins as a digital or digitized photograph. The computer is used to translate the colors of the photograph into a stitching pattern with each pixel representing one stitch. The image is then either sewn by hand or, having refined the process while at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture during the summer of 2000, by computerized sewing machine. The result, while technologically generated, is anything but high tech in appearance. They are usually small and always fascinating. Like impressionist paintings, they present a complete picture when viewed from afar and break down into texture and pattern when viewed up close. Saldaña says of her work that she is “exploring the shared ground of virtual and actual, mechanical and manual, digital and traditional”.
Marcus is also exploring some of these juxtapositions in her series “Sets and Systems”. Squares and rectangles of various handmade Japanese papers are overlaid with threads whose lengths have been mathematically determined before they are cut and randomly applied to the surface. These works were done in a period of solitary meditation in Marcus’ life and they reflect the quiet and structure and concentration of that discipline. In addition to the works on paper, Marcus has included several large, heavily layered works on thickly threaded canvases. These collages are based on recognizable geometric shapes, but they are executed in hues that mute the mathematical effect of the shapes and, instead, imbue them with a sense of playful movement.