|"Aunt Rose Was Always Glad to See Me" by Estelle Akamine, Painted & Sewn Mesh, 1985.|
Back in my glorious grad school days, I spent countless hours in the Art & Architecture library at the University of Kansas. It was so great; I never knew what I was on the verge of discovering. I'd go to a shelf to find a particular book only to have the adjacent book catch my eye. That library is a treasure trove.
One book I happened upon was Fiber R/Evolution, a catalogue published by the Milwaukee Art Museum in 1986. It is a catalogue of a two-part (Invitational and Juried) exhibition held at Milwaukee Art Museum (Invitational) and University Art Museum, the Univ. of Wisconsin--Milwaukee (Juried), Feb. 7-Mar. 30, 1986. The show also traveled to five other museums.
I checked this book out multiple times and even scanned many of the images that inspired and intrigued me for my files. Above is one of my scans and probably my favorite piece in the book - "Aunt Rose Was Always Glad to See Me" by Estelle Akamine. It was made of sewn and painted mesh in 1985. I love the way the title compliments and enriches the form. I find it so easy to relate to the central figure being hugged. It is almost as if she is being absorbed or engulfed. The transparency of the mesh makes the "Aunt" seem like a cage. I love seeing how this little twist...placing one figure inside another...completely changes the "hug" portrayed and communicates the concept so effectively.