wotwedid

Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

SONNETS IN THREADED CODE: Amelia Dowe Tapestries

leave a comment »

Gallery 'pop-up' sign

Gallery ‘pop-up’ sign

 

Sonnets-invite-72

Invitation

.

Even though I had studied Shakespeare the traditional way through the analysis of language and the marginalia of the second-hand “reader” along with viewing the Macbeth movie, this knowledge would not be of use in the ‘reading’ of Ameila Dowe’s pop-up exhibition, Sonnets.

My initial impression was that the show had the appearance of a display of Buddhist prayer flags. Colourful squares of material were hand embroidered geometric pattern using contrasting coloured silk threads. Each piece was unframed and attached loosely to a wooden rod in a line along the walls. An embroidery frame was installed in a corner with a work-in-progress to show the artist’s process. Dowe also had a display of work from the opening where the community connected with her process, through drawing on paper.

.

In the gallery space

In the gallery space

.

The embroidered pattern mapped the haptic pathway taken when the keypad of a low tech mobile phone spells a line from one of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Each stitch sewn into the fabric is a kind of meditation where the hand making slows the reading of the poetry into a reflective and abstract visual space and place.

.

Explanation of the code

Explanation of the code

.

This is an intriguing hybrid concept: as the reader then follows the hand sewn tracks isolating each line and recontextualising the poetic nature of the Sonnets. The use of contrasting and complimentary colours engages with the viewer’s psychological and sensory apperception: a memory–an association with everyday items (napery or clothing) and their use. Yet in these seemingly simple colourful patterns there is an intellectual discourse.

.

97/6  The teeming autumn, big with rich increase  (2013)

97/6 The teeming autumn, big with rich increase (2013)

 

For me this work represents a visual question of nature of haptics, language and communication; poetry and representation; technology and obsolescence. This work fits within an emergent interest in data visualization where artists are reinterpreting data and technological information within a visual and sensorial context. An example of work arguably aligned with Dowe’s can be seen in the work of Stephan Thiel (see http://www.stephanthiel.com ).

Amelia Dowe has produced on one level seductively delicate and simple work but as I engaged with the art and its Shakespearean references, I found myself drawn into other worlds of ‘reading’ through a kind of synesthetic experience of literature.

Victoria Cooper

.

.

Some more images from the show by Doug Spowart

.

In the gallery

In the gallery

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the gallery space

Code work done by gallery visitors on opening night

Code work done by gallery visitors on opening night

Dove's embroidery frame

Dowe’s embroidery frame

98/10  A third not red nor white had stol'n of both  (2012)

98/10 A third not red nor white had stol’n of both (2012)

.

.

.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: