The exhibit in the Cathy & Jesse Marion Art Gallery at SUNY Fredonia that ran from March 8 through April 7, 2013 was called “Gone Viral” with the subtitle “Medical Science in Contemporary Textile Art.” It featured the work of Sonya Clark, Anna Dumitriu, Paddy Hartley, Lindsay Obermeyer, and Laura Splan. I was lucky enough to catch it the day before it closed. It was a collection of photography, mixed media, sculpture, and installation.
Perhaps because I have dappled with wool and beads myself, I was particularly taken by a series of round needle-felted and beaded objects that looked like cell parts I remember labeling in biology a long time ago.
Other pieces in the exhibit reminded me of the work of friends and acquaintances:
The stitching and paint on printed pages reminded me of Deb’s pages.
The beaded works that seemed to take their form from the insides of cells reminded me of Courtney’s paintings.
There were photographs of constructed “costumes” (which I didn’t get pictures of) that reminded me of Jodi Staniunas Hopper’s work from Women Create. The uniforms and dress that were embellished with embroidery reminded me of the Judith Olson Gregory exhibit that was in this very gallery a while back. The crocheted hospital gown reminded me of Mark Newport‘s superhero costumes. The theme itself took me back to Deborah Orloff’s series of hospital images.
There is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9
I am nervous to google and find out how many others have already employed my latest “original” idea.
None of this is to diminish the creativity of the artists. The works themselves are deeply personal – an expression of a truly original process. The resulting product speaks to us because we have had another deeply personal experience that is similar enough that it helps us understand the context of this new work, and perhaps it gives us a little insight into the artist who made it.