New History No.1 Installation by Rachelle Gardner-Roe

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Detail view showing hand-made porcelain "buttons."
Detail view highlighting the graphic quality of lace pattern.

Art Description

Installation: Fabric, Ceramic, Ink on Ceramic, Soft (Yarn, Cotton, Fabric), Other.

I almost never work with found objects. However, when I traveled to an international textile symposium a few year ago, my host said this, "I love your work. I'll give you two lace bedspreads that have been handed down in my family if you promise to make them into art." They were gorgeous, white crocheted-lace and while I didn't know how in the world I was going to cram them into my luggage to fly home, there was no way that I was going to say no.

As objects that had been used to warm bodies over the decades, but had come to the end of their utilitarian life cycle, my goal was to give them a new life, a new history. I wanted to highlight both the graphic quality of the lace pattern, as well as the textures and folds inherent to a textile object.

As painting is often a part of my process, I treated these works as watercolors. Tacked to the wall, I poured ink on top edge of the bedspread. Wetting the surface allowed the ink to wick down through the cotton with gravity. This created subtle blending and gradation. It was a hypnotic process to watch. Blue and green inks were used in New History No.1 while red and yellow were used in New History No.2. The color choices reflect the dawn of a new day, the changing sky before sunrise and after.

This is a wall-hanging. A series of custom ceramic beads fit over nail heads used to hang the work.


New History No.1

Rachelle Gardner-Roe

United States


Size: 68 W x 96 H x 5.5 in

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