In 2015, I was asked to guest curate a textile show by Dorrie Papademetriou, the exhibitions director at The Noyes Museum of Art, NJ. We decided on a show of textile artists who focus on science, and I spent months researching and contacting artists all over the world. This was the statement:
Many textile artists are concerned with design, stitches and dyes.
Some textile artists are deeply immersed in science, producing felted fossils, knitted organisms and embroidered mathematics, allowing viewers to appreciate even microscopic life forms. These artists are more obsessed with cell forms than stitches. They research the biology/paleontology/numbers before they plan the material work.
The result is art that illuminates science beyond the capacity of any photograph. Cellular forms are explicated in lace, fossil forms are definitively quilted, and numbers are clarified in stitch. The work of these international artist/scientists will be presented in the show Scientifically Stitched at the Noyes Museum.
The show never happened. I always thought it was a shame that it was never seen...and now I have a venue to show it all right here on my blog! So here is all the art that I wanted to show - the pieces that would have been included, the ones I couldn't get, the ones we never could have afforded to ship. Enjoy.
Emily Stoneking, in Vermont, knits animal dissections, showing the anatomy without cruelty. Her website is http://www.emilystoneking.com/
Alvena Hall, in Australia, celebrates the Ediacaran fossils ( found in the Flinders Ranges), in lace. Her website is https://alvenahall.weebly.com/
Karen Norberg in Boston, MA, knitted an anatomically correct brain. No website, but you can read about her in these two articles: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4245919/Psychiatrist-knits-anatomically-correct-woolly-brain.html https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/news-blog/abby-normal-nope-psychiatrist-knits-2009-01-16/
Anna Dumitriu, in the UK, embroidered the various germs found on clothing in Lab Coat Flora. Her website is http://www.medinart.eu/works/anna-dumitriu/
Simone Pheulpin, in France, creates fossil forms by folding cotton. She uses only pins and non starched local fabric. Good article about her work here: https://parisdiarybylaure.com/simone-pheulpin-sculpts-folded-cotton/
Ruth Tabancay, in California: 'An assemblage of hand-felted pellets affixed across a wall. The viewer is first grabbed by the pellets' vibrant spectrum of pinks and reds, and then drawn into their disarray. The actual inspiration for the piece is scientifically grounded in Serratiamarcescens, a bacterium that was released over San Francisco by the US military in 1950 to test the population's vulnerability to germ warfare'. Go to her website http://www.ruthtabancay.com/ to see her newest work.
Anita Bruce, In the UK, knits forms of plankton with fine wire. Go to here website, http://www.anitabruce.co.uk/ to see much better images of her wonderful work.
Caitlin McCormack, in Philadephia, PA, crochets animal skeletons. Her website is https://caitlintmccormack.com/home.html
Heather Komus, in Canada, does 'unique embroideries on pig intestine that explore the role of parasitism and the microscopic in an ecosystem'. see more on her website: http://www.heatherkomus.com/