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Monday, August 22, 2011

Aullwood 2011: Susan Nash

Susan Nash, Primordial Sea, 19" x 24" $350.
Susan Nash, Primordial Sea, detail.

Susan Nash, Main Street Mandala #3.  35" x 43.5"  $500.

Susan Nash, Main Street Mandala #3 detail.
Susan Nash, Koi Pond.  30" diameter.  $450.00

Susan Nash, "Koi Pond," detail.
Yesterday, the Aullwood art quilt show closed, and today is my last post about the quilts there this year.  At left, is Susan Nash's "Primordial Sea."  Susan had three quilts accepted this year and of the three, this is my favorite.  I love the action of the swirl in the primordial soup...the textures she's used, and the color..but most of all I love the fact that use used an ammonite, a fosillized shell of a close relative of the chambered nautilus.  This is Susan's rendition of the early "waters" from which all live came back a gazillion years ago (a technical term ;) ). 

Susan used commercial cottons, hand dyed wool, acrylic yarn and beading, She hand embroidered it and used machine quilting and applique.  It's really hard to catch the sparkle on this one, but I think it is a very successful piece.

At left, the circular piece with the gridding is "Main Street Mandala #3."   Susan has constructed a series of works based on man-hole covers in and around her home in Zanesville, OH.  You can see others on her website.

Susan did a reverse sun print of the manhole cover using Setacolor paints. She embellished it with acrylic yarns and buttons.

This particular part of the series represents  a rainy day along the street.  I think it evokes more of a marine or lake image, which is highly appropriate because what we put down our storm sewers ultimately ends up in a lake or ocean.

The last piece is "Koi Pond."  I admit, I love goldfish and have my own pond.  Of her three pieces, however, I like this one the least.  I think because of the way she handled the fins and the eyes on the fish.  It's difficult as the fish eyes are on the side of the head of the fish and while you see them when looking down from above, it is hard to represent them when working in fabric.  The pectoral fins bother me a little too as they don't really stand out from the sides of the fish as they do in real life, but they make instead (especially when combined with the eyes) something reminiscent to me of a frill necked lizard.

I realize that this sounds harsh and I don't mean it to be so, but these are just elements which bother me.  They probably didn't occur to you.  It is also probable that I am being to literal and realistic and what Susan was doing was conveying an abstracted vision.  I often find it interesting to see pieces with someone else because what they see and what I see are often interpreted differently.

Her lily pads and water lilies are very realistic and are dimensional.  I also really like the netted effect of the lace.  The waterlilies are made of silk, the body of the quilt from commercial cottons.  She used acrylic lace and yarn as well as buttons to embellish her work.  It is hand embroidered and machine stitched, appliqued and quilted.

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