The Denver Art Museum presents Spun: Adventures in Textiles from May 19, 2013 – September 22, 2013. This exhibit is the largest the museum has ever held, in terms of items, floor space and curators involved.With 10 different sections, this exhibit is huge and incredibly interesting. The pieces range from pre-Columbian, Navajo Indian, Japan, Victorian and much more. Our Team spent two hours looking through the various sections and barely scratched the surface of all we wanted to examine.
Textiles have been used throughout history and all over the world for different uses, including currency for trading, talismans, ceremony and status indicators. It was so interesting to see rugs and wall hangings up closethat were created hundreds of years ago by someone halfway across the world. It brought me a sense of unity in the world.
One of my favorite pieces was from the Material World portion, which showed contemporary uses of textiles in art.
This piece by Agustina Woodgate, called No Rain No Rainbows, is created entirely of stuffed animals that were deconstructed and restitched together in this amazing, symmetrical shape. I love that the materials were all recycled and changed into something completely different from its original use, and yet it kept the warm, fuzzy aspect you associate with stuffed animals. If you look closely you can see the shape of an orca whale stuffed animal at the top.
It’s quite large, measuring 114″ x 192″ inches. The combination of textures and colors makes this endlessly interesting to me. Each stuffed animal had different pile, and different wear (the animals were previously owned by the artist’s friend’s children) and results in varying dimension.
The individual scraps get so small, but you can still definitely see every little change of color and pile. Can you imagine stitching all those tiny, oddly shaped bits together? The timing that must have gone into planning how to cut each scrap from the stuffed animals is just fantastic. The finished shape is not exactly symmetrical, which adds to the sort of worn, well-used and loved feeling.
If you’re going to be in the Denver area while this exhibit is running, it’s definitely worth the trip. Plan to spend at least a few hours looking and learning about textiles throughout history and all over the world.
Everyone on our team took something different away from the experience. Stay tuned on the blog this week for more insider looks at the exhibit from Jessie, Beth, Jill, Sue, Erin and Courtney!