Sunday, January 16, 2011

Carolyn Wren / Remembrances with Toby Anderson at University of Sherbrooke Art Gallery

I was strangely moved by this show of Carolyn Wren. These 3 Graces were an imposing height at 9 feet, insisting you look up at them, so that there was a quality, in me at least, of Alice in Wonderland and Bread and Puppet. One of the friends we were with told us that her husband, as had all the other servicemen, had been given one of these maps in case they were shot down, which gave such an immediacy and poignancy to these works. 

Carolyn Wren was inspired by the ingenuity of Christopher Clayton Hutton, who, during World War II, created silk maps for the British Royal Air Force. The pilots were given these military maps, which showed the layout of the land to facilitate their movements and ensure their safety. Lightweight and durable, these objects were easy to conceal. After the war, Hutton's ingenuity and the scarcity of silk inspired women to be creative as well: they collected the silk maps and made dresses out of them. Carolyn Wren redrew the map in the shapes of her patterns, carved these into pieces of linoleum, then hand-printed them onto Dupont silk. With this printed fabric, the artist made 3 nine-foot map dresses. When viewed in this manner, waterways look like intestines, roads resemble veins or arteries, and the print image becomes a map of the body. Surrounded by models of World War II bombers and fighter aircraft, these map dresses create the theatrical space conducive to the recollection of the soldiers' journeys and the anxiety of their loved ones. We find ourselves in the middle of an experiment on the borderline between the territories of the land and those of the mind. [Suzanne Pressé, curator, Art Gallery of the University of Sherbrooke]

I really enjoyed this show and following my own internal lines and threads found this link, just posted this morning, to another kind of dream dress. [You will need to scroll down a bit]
Carolyn Wren / Rememberances

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.