The “Time Piece” series by Joan Dreyer is an ongoing project by the mixed media artist where she hand stitches tree bark collected over time. Each piece uses rings of stitches to create a circular pattern not unlike the rings of a tree. The hand stitched process creates a range of thick and thin rings that blend with the bark and create a kind of skin. Each piece is unique, while sharing similar qualities such as the small scale ( 5” x 5” x 2.5”), a palette of ochres, browns and grey and the silk hand-stitched backing on each of the pieces.
To paint a broad stroke, Joan’s art addresses life’s stages and the challenges that individuals face during the journey of their lives. Her work is subtle yet leaves a profound impact on viewers. The “Time Piece” body of work falls under what Joan has described as her “Mourning Series”.
I’ve felt that mourning was mostly about the loss of a person. My view expanded when I came across an essay by Nicole Davi called “Tree Clocks and Climate Change’ in “The Language of Trees”, a collection of essays, poems and drawings by Irish artist, Katie Holten.
Nicole Davi is a scientist who studies tree rings and travels to the far regions of the planet to measure tree ring samples from very old trees. Tree ring widths vary from year to year. ( In good years, the rings are wider than in tough years.) She describes tree ring records as “natural recorders” of climate – going back thousands of years. The records are one of the keys to understanding climate change in the past and what is possible in the future.
Climate change in our era has been “front of mind” for me this summer. While we’ve had impacts of extreme weather for some time – this year – it has become more and more frequent. In a way, I’m mourning a lost world and trying to figure out how to move forward in a time of uncertainty.
I’ve started thinking about the role of the artist in the era of climate change. How does it look? How does it feel? What do we mean when we talk about sustainability?
Joan’s Time Piece series reminds me of the cycles of life but also of our connection to each other, our past, our losses, our gifts but also our future.
Score explores 20 years of the work of Virginia based mixed media artist, Joan Dreyer. While developing her MFA thesis at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, Joan began taking tools, techniques and imagery that have been historically considered “women’s work” and transforming them into innovative, contemporary art that is responsive to the tone and tensions of our times. Created by combining fiber techniques with unexpected materials like X-rays, her work is a subtle art that asks questions about life, loss, symbolism and the impact of war instead of providing one size fits all answers . The artist’s work provides a space for the contemplationof life stages that we all encounter. The result is a body of work that allows for meaningful but also multiple interpretations by the viewer.
For more information about exhibits at the Workhouse Arts Center or artwork purchase inquiries, contact Audrey Miller firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Workhouse Arts Center on Instagram at @workhousearts, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WorkhouseArts and Twitter at @Workhouse_Arts. The Workhouse Arts Center is open to the public Wednesdays – Saturdays from 11 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from noon to 5 pm. Free public parking is available. A map of campus can be found online here.
Theresa Martin is an artist based in Arlington, Virginia with the ability to create collages with a poignancy that evokes memory as well as mystery.
Her influences include echoes of Jospeh Cornell, Kurt Schwitters,and Lenore Tawney. Using “found” portraits, she creates halos from numbers and symbols and thereby transforms the work into a secular devotional icon.
As a graduate of the Corcoran in the mid-80’s, Theresa has honed her creative skills utilizing a wide range of media. Most recently she has been experimenting with open source AI tools into her work.
The collages in the video are available through distinctstudios.com. You can see the collection of additional available work at her DS Artist’s page.
The Ostinato and Coda Series by Fiber and Conceptual Artist Sarah J. Hull Exhibition Dates: July 5, 2022 through August 15, 2022
Exhibit Reception and Artist Talk: Saturday July 30, 2022, 2-4PM
Distinct Studios Fine Art is pleased to present Sarah J. Hull’s Ostinato and Coda series in the Small House Gallery of Goodwin House in Alexandria, Virginia in July and August of 2022.
Sarah has a background in architecture, science and visual art. She received her BA in Architecture from Wesllesley College with pertinent course work at M.I.T. Her varied background informs her work including her explorations of music.
In her art, she explores the rhythmic variation in our daily lives. Using natural fibers and hand embroidery stitches, each work explores it’s “objectness” with the tension created between hand-stitched materials and the structure of the underlying grid. The resulting work creates a mediative presence.
In her process, she begins with a concept that has has inspired her. She then follows that idea in a series of works that create an iteration of the theme. The Ostinato series demonstrates this process elegantly. In music, an Ostinato is a short melodic phrase repeated throughout a composition, sometimes slightly varied. A rhythmic Ostinato is a short, constantly repeated rhythmic pattern. In the Ostinato series by Sarah, she uses the concept of repetition with slight variation to create fiber based works that hold their own as single works but displayed together form a visual melody.
Sarah currently lives and works in Washington DC. She is active in the art community through the District of Columbia Art Center (DCAC),
nationally through the New York based National Association of Women Artists (NAWA), and internationally through the UK based Society for Embroidered Work (S.E.W.). Currently, she is enrolled in the Royal School of Needlework’s Certificate & Diploma program and was a member of the 2019 – 2020 DCAC Sparkplug cohort. Most recently, she successfully presented an independent solo exhibition of her most recent series The Topologicals at Studio 1469 in Washington DC and was one of the artists in Distinct Studios first group exhibition in 2022, Before, During, After at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virgina.
Artist talk: May 12, 2022 6:30pm (in person and live stream)
Closing Reception: May 22, 2022 10:30am – 12:30am (bagels and coffee)
Sarah J. Hull proudly presents her solo exhibition at Studio 1469, Taxonomy of Evanescence.Featuring works primarily from two of her recent series, this exhibition considers the mechanics of awareness and memory and how they interact not only with each other, but also with time and space. These themes converge in the thoughtful meditations on the traces of existence that remain and those that fade. Fading, just as energy fields that extend towards a point where its amplitude decreases.
Memories overlap and merge over time. In these works, fabric, threads and paint are layered one upon another to not only create directional movement within the structure of the main geometric elements, but also create forms that gently emerge and recede from the surface and the viewer. Each piece takes on an organic quality creating a dialogue between the materials, “the hand,” and the underlying grid through the use of natural fibers and hand embroidery. The underlying grid provides the groundwork where basic forms are mirrored, disrupted, and subjected to rotational symmetries and inversions. In some works, only faint remnants of the grid remains.
Speaking about her work, she says: “Just as I watch a piece unfold as it is created, I hope that each piece manifests slowly to the viewer, increasingly revealing its hand-worked existence.This temporal experience of introspection, inquiry, reflection, and pleasure connects me with the work and the viewer. I hope the intimacy of each piece sparks internal contemplation in the viewer as art of a more complex and responsive experience – just as with an individual’s interaction and connections within the fabric of community and society.”
The naturally occurring rhythmic repetition and variation present in nature, described by science and mathematics and echoed in daily personal existence provides the foundational inspiration for the work. Each piece is at once a meditation on personal exploration, the interconnectedness of individuals, and the greater forces of life itself.
You can learn more about Sarah and her work by visiting her Distinct Studios artist’s page.
….the moment before the initial thought begins is just as important as the thought itself….
“Phronesis(Ancient Greek: φρόνησῐς, romanized: phrónēsis), translated into English by terms such as prudence, practical virtue and practical wisdom is an ancient Greek word for a type of wisdom or intelligence relevant to practical action. It implies both good judgment and excellence of character and habits, and was a common topic of discussion in ancient Greek philosophy, in ways which are still influential today.”
Large cool white embroidered square with a strong diagonal from the top left to the bottom right centered on the top half of a 21” high raw linen caves, above a collection of smaller warm white embroidered squares with a diagonal from the top right to bottom left. The middle square is left blank revealing the embroidery ground.