Solo Exhibition: Oct 30 – Nov 21, 2020 in Chicago

Abigail Engstrand: Exhibiting Signs of Life
Virtual Opening Reception  Sat. Nov 7, 4-5pm

    • Exhibition dates: Oct 30 – Nov 21, 2020
    • Gallery hours: Fri 3-7pm – Sat & Sun 12-4 pm  

    The Zoom link for the virtual reception will be added to the Facebook event page on the day of the event.

I need to stop trying to transplant my giant old hydrangea, as it’s too deep, wide, and heavy

(I realize now)
             and go back to my computer to reword a proper brief statement about my work.
I need to say something with poetic brevity
                   about what I’ve been observing and contemplating:
the fragility and resilience
                          of human body and spirit.
I feel my delicate decorative clothesline,
with the fleeting sketches on paper, torn, hanging chad’s left in place,
and the temporary nature of fibers (that used to keep living mammals warm and protected),
                                   illustrates my thoughts-
being recycled, in a way elevates to the realm of an art object –
                       a comparison, a dance… sometimes ironic.
I felt

I am a painter


I observe and build relationships. My fiber pictures, I call them “felts”, are often translated from another, more 2 dimensional medium, like a watercolor painting or charcoal drawing, into a multi-dimensional picture, by using fibers that have had another life before being selected for my visual adventure.

This new medium is old; it has either been an integral part of a living, breathing being, like sheep, alpaca, silk worm or dog, or a growing plant like bamboo, milkweed or corn fiber. Sometimes my chosen bits of color or texture have already served even more cycles of purpose, as an article of clothing or a blanket for human life. I feel good about honoring Mother Earth, and all her inhabitants, by reusing resources. I also relish including sentimental fibers and fabric scraps, relevant to the subject, drawing more personal connection into the piece…

Like watercolor puddles, and children, fibers have a life of their own that they lend to a planned picture; a spontaneity which toys with levels of artistic, or parental, control. There’s a constant dance working with them; deciding where boundaries are needed and when and where to let go, look, listen and appreciate the altered perception and new definition they’ve created! No matter which medium I use, in all my pictures there is language-sometimes literally, in words, but always imbued with attempts at communication; a story told in color, shape, and scentual* bridges.

*I love to add various natural essential oils to my hands and rubbed into the fibers as I work for an added dimension.

 

For more information, visit the ARC Gallery website.