Thursday, March 26, 2009

Elin Noble, Layered Affinities

This afternoon, I went to see an inspiring exhibit at Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, MA. Hanging in their gallery is an exhibit by Elin Noble, a New Bedford artist, showing some truly stunning pieces. I had met Elin through a mutual friend (and now blogger bhakti Ziek) a long time ago, so I knew that I'd love this exhibit. When I was looking up directions to the gallery and read this description on the gallery website, I couldn't get there fast enough.

"Elin Noble plays with space. More specifically, she explores the billowing, breathing, and transformative qualities of cloth in space . . .
Her work on cloth involves layering pattern by adding and subtracting color repeatedly, leaving hints and marks of what was there before."


Elin is an expert dyer, and the show combines several different techniques. There are her dyed pieces, often on gossamer silk with two layers of fabric hanging together, so the light goes through them and both layers form the whole piece. They almost seemed designed for this space.
There are also amazing quilts. She first dyes the fabric, then machine quilts intricate patterns. These pieces run in various sizes and all are very detailed and just gorgeous.

Some of my favorite pieces were these fun smaller pieces (which are a steal at $100, framed, if you're looking for some gorgeous, original art for your walls). They were called "Illuminated Pages" and give you the sense that they had been pulled from an ancient manuscript.


Also, were these interesting small pieces that were called alternative marbling. They were done on cotton, and I guess the technique is similar to marbling done on paper. These were all inspired by cells and natural shapes, and were so detailed I assumed they were pen and ink drawing. I'd love to see how she does this, I can't imagine marbling (how I think of it being done) and getting this amount of detail.





What struck me about this show was the expert dyeing, she truly is a master of her craft. Her color palates all had a comfortable and natural feel to them, and the way the light and space worked with these pieces was if it were another element she was working with while making them. If you're near Fall River, definitely try to get to this show. (Tip: If you're interested in buying any of the pieces, ask the curator to show you the ones in the back that there wasn't space to hang.)

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