Photo: Martha Alvarez
INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF CONTEMPORARY TEXTILE ART – “Air”
Salon for Reciclability In Textile Art – Oaxaca, Mexico
May 28 to June 3, 2011
M is for Mixed Media
Mixed media? What is that about? Well, like the words imply, it has to do with using materials from many different sources and bringing them together into a whole. When the term was first used in the art circles, it helped to separate a 2-D piece of art from other genres, such as oil painting, acrylic, water color, etc. Now we live in a fabulous time in the history of art where everything is up for grabs! Paper can be mixed with fabric, plastic bits added in, metals sewn together, branches wrapped with wool.... Variations have endless interpretations and the easiest way to describe something that uses all of these resources is to call it mixed media.
If you do a search on TAFA for mixed media, you will get many different results. I picked just a few examples to give an idea of how exciting it is to be able to break the molds and use whatever materials one wants to in order to achieve the final result. This freedom also has a huge impact on being able to upcycle garbage into art. The junk our modern society discards becomes the raw materials for the mixed media artist.
Click on the name below each image to visit the member profiles. The descriptions are from the members talking about their work. From there, you can go to their websites, blogs, shops, and social media sites. May you be inspired to see the materials around you in a new way!
Heike Gerbig: "A collage of painting, hand stitching, and machine embroidery/"thread drawing" - layers of painted paper, silk, cotton."
Abruzzo School of Creative Art
Averil Stuart-Head: "This is based on a photo taken one autumn day, whilst viewing the damaged city of L'Aquila about a year after they had a major earthquake, which devastated the city.
We stumbled on this beautiful park close to the ancient fortress.
Created on 100% cotton canvas. Lightly painted with arcrylic paints. Photo transfer, painted cheesecloth for texture and softness. Embellished with a variety of differnt textures. Machine stitched and gold-leaf applied."
Detail of Molecular Composition, full image shown at the top.
Silvia Piza-Tandlich: "Molecular Composition. Crochet, embroidery, fusion, and paper cutting.
The format required it to be a recycled textile made into another textile. My daughter had started an aphfan she never finished, so I cut it all up and placed each flower bubbled inside fused plastic. Since it was going to Mexico, I also made molecules in my own version of papel picado, which is a Mexican tradition.
My conceptual idea was that in school I learned that air is comprised of oxygen, nitrogen and "other gases." Therefore, for me it was more attractive to depict the "other gases" in order to present something as intangible as Air, which was the theme of this biennale."
Creative Chick Studios
Susan Sorrell: "Octopus Garden B-2008, 5 1/2" x 6 6/8", Part of the Octopus Garden series. Hand painted stabilizer, mixed media collage with paper and fabric. Hand embroidery and Hand beading. Sewn to Mat board."
Anni Hunt: "Felted, dyed, machine stitched.
This was a Japanese inspired vessel. I was researching Japanese Family crests to find a simple motif involving the circle and square. It occurred to me how precious these family crests were and that I should create a special treasure box to house them. I used the designs to decorate the box using machine stitch to create them This piece was my 'assessment' piece for my City & Guilds Embroidery certification. It inspired me to take my 3D work further and design more containers for family treasures which eventually became an exhibit at 'Crafthouse' on Granville Island called Containment in 2009."
Karen Henderson: "Persistent Flicker" Hand woven raw silk and paper, batik, dye & discharge, stitching, and gold leaf. 22” x 17". Private Collection.
Photograph by D. James Dee
Jo: "Combining acrylic paint and embroidery on canvas, This is Your Brain in Paint & Stitch is 8 X 10 X 1/2 inches.
The brain is outlined in white with additional stitch detail in the cerebellum, or little brain. The paint part of the piece is an explosion of multicolored cranial activity within. The brain is surrounded by green, representing the earth, the without, or outside, world.
Salley Mavor: "My 3-dimentional pictures resemble miniature, shallow stage sets, with scenery, props and characters telling a story. I embroider, wrap, appliqué and paint different materials and found objects to create scenes in relief, with figures imposed on an embellished fabric background."
As you can see, each of these artists uses various materials to complete their vision. The end results might be abstract in nature or representational. Some are intended for the wall while others hang from the ceiling or stand on a surface. When I think of mixed media, I normally imagine some kind of texture, although that is not necessarily true. Whatever the case, I find them all inspiring and hope that you will, too!