In collaboration with The Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts, Galatea Fine Art is currently presenting the works of internationally established artists who teach at the school. Jodi Colella, Merill Comeau and Kristina Goransson show their pieces in the “Taking Form: Fibers & Fabric” exhibition. All of the work on display employs fabric, fibers and textiles in an inimitable manner. Each artist brings an entirely different aspect to the intimate space through their variant works, while showing their dedication to craftsmanship. From creating and dying wool fabric from scratch; quilting with various textiles; and sculpting with taxidermy, toys and fabric, the dedication and passion for uncommon material is clear throughout the exhibition.
The Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts, located in Boston, Massachusetts, partners with Galatea twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Spring. In October ’18, The Eliot School brought art from their “Teen Bridge” program. For Spring ’19, the school chose to bring in the work of three of their notable educators. Craftsmanship is at the core of The Eliot School’s mission statement which reads, “The Eliot School inspires lifelong learning in craftsmanship and creativity for all”. Everything brought into this exhibit requires skilled resourcefulness which is shown in the artists’ work and reflects the mission statement.
Kristina Goransson brings four brand-new pieces to the exhibition, “Defenses,” “In Our Own Orbits,” “Depletion” and “And Counting (12 Children under the age of 10 have been shot and killed so far in 2019, as of February 1.” They all have one very notable thing in common, felted and indigo dyed wool. Goransson manipulated the wool from scratch, which isn’t an easy process. The deep blues evoke some sense of sadness, particularly seen in “And Counting (12 Children under the age of 10 have been shot and killed so far in 2019, as of February 1”. The 12 dangling felt-pendants, adding up to the number of the children lost so far, are easily comparable to tear drops. Contrasting the melancholy feeling brought on by “And Counting,” the sculpture “Depletion” brings movement and activity to the space. The dye indigo is pulled throughout the twisting tube-like structures of sculpture in a blue gradient. The enticing piece seems like it has the ability to leap off the wall and make something exciting happen.
The large fabric works of Merill Comeau hang on the biggest portions of the space’s walls ranging from 48 to 73 inches in length and 60 to 83 inches in width. Comeau repurposes clothing and other bits of textiles to form the narratives of others who may have experienced trauma, as well as incorporating herself. By changing these materials, Comeau gives them “new identities.” In “Checkered Past” a story is shown through the quilt-like resemblance, providing a different narrative for each square. “The Sins of the Mother Rest Heavily” has a narrative that is less clear, but the mural conveys a feeling of individualized identities. It stitches together contrasting bits of fabric, such as floral patterns and fabric with prints reminiscent of Asian art, but also includes familiar materials like denim. The construction of this piece shows clear mending and reparation through hand-stitching with various colored threads. It simultaneously reflects the artist’s intent to “repair” through artistic expression.
Jodi Colella uses bizarre found-objects to create alluring, but strange creatures. “Man Eater I” & “Man Eater II” use pieces of a taxidermy alligator to form another animal. The odd items in these two pieces include tiny plastic hands and Victoria Secret Pink toys yet they perfectly fit the anatomy of the creatures. Despite some of their curious characteristics, these animals are welcoming and charming. In addition to “Man Eater I,” “Man Eater II” and “Man Eater III,” the “Nature of Beast Trio” shows smaller animals that are just as peculiar as the others. These beings spark fantasies that, maybe, these animals exist in the wild and are begging to be discovered.
(“Taking Form: Fibers & Fabric” continues through March 31 at Galatea Fine Art, 460 Harrison Ave #B6., Boston, Massachusetts; the gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon-5 p.m. For more information, call (617) 542-1500. For more information on The Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts visit eliotschool.org.)