Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BEAUTY: MIxed Media--Kate Keara Pelen

Kate Keara Pelen is another artist who works within a traditionally "feminine" form. Embroidery ("woman's work") has been the past time of women for centuries, and proficiency at needle work was one of the marks of a well-rounded--and thus highly prized for marriage--young woman in long-ago Europe. Pelen brings a modern, abstract sensibility to an ancient art form. Many of her pieces are mounted wrapped around the wooden hoop that is used in embroidery. Interestingly, she takes many of her design cues from the world of medicine (her piece Mimic, seen below in detail, is embroidered on a water stained medical bandage) and close-up views of bacteria.

In her piece Spread, Pelen works her abstract embroidery technique on an inherited lace table cloth, playing with the idea of feminine heirlooms, and what women supposedly value.

Top to bottom: Jolly Rancher; Copper Sulphate; For A Holy Place; On The Surface; Zig Zag; Mimic (detail); Twiglets (detail); Spread (detail); Spread

Her website also shows her painting, drawing, photography and video work.

And her blog she kept while she was a resident artist at Imperial College in London is pretty interesting too!

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