“There is a deep, quiet resonance…”
Some works of art step out of themselves, living beings that emerge from the materials and frames of their birth. “Wisdom’s Reach XVIII”, by fabric artist Beth Andrews, stands in this rare lineage. The late autumnal oak she depicts, stitched on background of gold and crafted hilariously from swatches of camo, hums with presence in the corridors of her exhibit at the Blood Connection in Greenville, SC.
The entire exhibit is exceptional. Andrews’s work is unusually suited for the gallery space of an agency concerned with sharing the essence of life. Her method is the gentle, repeated motion of needle and thread, pricking and inserting to unite disparate pieces of fabric into a new whole. The thousands of stitches that create a design speak of the sustained attention and care she offers us through her work. And her subject matter–trees, forests, mountains, sky, and sometimes just pure color–is of life itself.
Paul Klee and Maurice Sendak must be proud. Andrews’s work communicates an intimacy at once serious and joyful. Intricate patterns nonetheless create simplicity of image. The peacefulness of her representations resonates all the more through her nuanced treatment of her fabrics.
But perhaps what is most striking about these pieces is the focused longing they express. That trees are wise, that mountains conjure in us a desire to go into them, we know: but can we reach the fulfillment they extend to us?
With measured stitch, Beth Andrews asks this question, over and over.
The roots of her golden oak have an answer.
The Blood Connection
435 Woodruff Road
Greenville, SC 29607
Showing through August 10, 2016
Reception: Thursday, June 16 5:30pm-7:00pm