"Warped: Weft and Wood"
Consuelo Jiménez Underwood (fiber) and Barry Semegran (wood)
September 3 through 28, 2005
Opening reception: Saturday, September 3, from 5 to 7 p.m.
"Warp" conveys the multiple meanings - "to shape wood," "to arrange thread," and "to bend into new shapes." The visitors to the September Dolphin Gallery show, "Warped: Weft and Wood," will soon see that this word play provides insight into the special characteristics of the materials used to create the pieces and the intellectual forces that influenced featured artists Consuelo Jiménez Underwood and Barry Semegran.
In the late 70's Ms. Jiménez Underwood put down the paintbrush to pursue the thread arts that evoked her cultural heritage. Since then she has expanded from early loom work that was experimental, challenging and new to the present more inclusive works that include manufactured cloth and a wider range of mixed media materials and processes.
Her work challenges the boundaries of traditional textiles and moves beyond craft to fine art. The pieces express personal ideas and celebrate cultural icons developed by indigenous Americans thousands of years ago. Her personal goal was to never weave anything traditional or predictable and to bring loom work into gallery and museum spaces.
Ms. Jiménez Underwood draws on her roots as a daughter of migrant agricultural workers, a Chicano mother and a father of Huichol descent, to weave common threads of history and cultural resistance and affirmation. She is a tenured professor at San Jose State and her work was the subject of a PBS Spark episode entitled "Threads".
Barry Semegran grew up on the opposite coast in the New York area, but came to California to study philosophy at UC Santa Barbara. He learned production woodwork by manufacturing high quality cypress beehives in rural Georgia. He now resides in Anchor Bay where he specializes in making custom wood pieces - tables, chests, easels, lamps, screens, and outdoor furniture.
He says, "My woodworking is only a small aspect of my life, although in many ways, all that I am may be seen contained in the process and the objects that I make." He creates for his clients an object that combines form and function to bring to the viewing surface an inherent beauty that resides in the wood.
His aesthetic viewpoint reflects his interest in philosophy, especially Plato's ideal form that an artist can unlock from the material with which he works. He feels that hands-on woodworking and philosophical contemplation can be balancing forces in life.
The show runs from September 3 to September 28 with an artists' reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 3. Further information is available on-line about both artists by typing their name in the browser search field.
The Dolphin Gallery is located at 39225 Highway One in downtown
Gualala, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call
707-884-3896 for more information.