Strata....by Susan Lenz

The "Strata Series" was inspired by the cross-sectional profiles of the earth. The resulting series was worked on water-soluble fabric in free motion machine embroidery. The series was SHORT LIVED. Thus, this blog is a place to BURY blog posts....in the cross-sectional profiles. It functions as a support area for my "main" blog which is Art in Stitches by Susan Lenz.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trip to Washington, DC....August 2009


(Signage for Ann Duncan's collection of Indonesian Batiks at The Textile Museum, August, 2009. Click on image to enlarge and read.)

Yes....I know this post seems crazy on this blog. The Strata Series blog just isn't going anywhere....so I've started using it as a place to "bury" images and information that I don't exactly want on my regular blog. My regular blog just doesn't need all this "extra stuff". Since "Strata" implies layer of the earth, "burying" a post here seems fitting.


(Above and below: Detail of a particularly beautiful batik...showing both sides and how the fabric drapes when wrapped around a figure. Click on images to enlarge.)

So....Steve and I decided at the last minute to go to Washington, DC for an antiquarian book auction last Thursday night. Friday was spent separately (for the most part). Steve went on a 30-mile bike ride to Mt. Vernon. I do not under any circumstances do things all that. Sensibly, I went into the city and visited the Textile Museum, the Renwick, and the Sackler and Freer Galleries before picking Steve up in Alexandria outside the incredible Torpedo Factory.


(Above and below: Details of batiks. Click on images to enlarge.)

I saw the Amish quilt collection at the Textile but photos weren't allowed. Ann Duncan's (President Obama's mother) batik collection was also on display. Photos were allowed. It was very interesting, very personal, and included some excellent signage.

(Above and below: Details of batiks. Click on images to enlarge.)


(Above and below: Details of batiks. Click on images to enlarge.)


(Above and below: Batiks. Click on images to enlarge.)




(Above: Point of View by Renie Breskin Adams. 1986. Click on image to enlarge.)

At the Renwick I saw a great exhibit of work by five or six exceptional fine craft artists working with the notion of "disguise and staging to lend significance". "Theatrical devices added drama and meaning". I like these phrases....I liked the entire show....but I also enjoyed seeing Renie Breskin Adams' Point of View. I remember seeing it about six or seven years ago. It recently rotated back onto display.

(Above: Detail of Point of View by Renie Breskin Adams. Click on image to enlarge.)


(Above: Bancketje by Beth Lipman. Click on image to enlarge.)

I was blown away by Beth Lipman's Bancketje (Banquet). More than 400 glass components were created by a team of sixteen. It was mind blowing to see all these glass pieces.

(Above and below: More shots of Bancketje by Beth Lipman. Click on images to enlarge.)

The sign said that such a display "heightened awareness of craft, ritual, and decoration" but it also seemed to me that it both captivated and repulsed. It was all so beautiful, so ornate, so MUCH.....which triggered feeling of waste, indulgence, and ostentatiousness. I really like that "moth to a flame" response....and this banquet certain created this feeling.

(Above: Larry Fuentes' The Game Fish. Click on image to enlarge.)

Every time I visit the Renwick, I enjoy Larry Fuentes' The Game Fish....but I also look for something totally new to enjoy....something I haven't seen yet.....like Jocelyn Chateauvert's Scratch (2007).

(Above and below: Scratch by Jocelyn Chateauvert of South Carolina. Click on image to enlarge.)

Jocelyn is from South Carolina. Though I've never met her, I certainly know the name and was happy to see a fellow South Carolinian represented in fibers here in the Renwick. The description label read: Abaca, copper, walnut dye, pigment and thread. It was made in 2007 and purchased by the museum only last year. I liked the hanging idea too.