Intimate Lines – Drawing with Thread is a wonderful exhibition of thread art by some 16 talented artists. When I saw the promotion online, I knew I was going to go see this exhibition because of my interest in thread sketching. So, I traveled to Clinton, New Jersey to see the exhibit and I’m going to share the experience with you in this post.
I spent a lot of time viewing the exhibit because I was enjoying the exhibit as well as recording it in detail so I could share it with you all. By the time I was through with the show, I was truly wiped and I couldn’t see the other exhibits currently on display in the museum. If you’re really interested in this art form – drawing with thread – I encourage you to go see it for yourself if you can. It is truly worth it.
So let’s get started.
Intimate Lines – Paul Nosa
Paul Nosa works on a solar-powered sewing machine to draw on fabric. He designed this machine himself which is attached to a bicycle. 10 minutes of biking gives him 1 hour of sewing power.
From a distance, his work looks like abstract art. But on closer examination, you see figures, shapes, people, animals, bicycles, and all kinds of realistic images in his work – all drawn with thread.
You should see him at work. It’s simply fascinating!!! He can even spell and draw words backwards. What I noticed about his sewing machine is that he doesn’t use a presser foot when he’s drawing, which makes absolute sense to me.
But I wonder how it’ll work on a regular sewing machine. Nosa uses a commercial grade sewing machine. He used a Singer CG 590 sewing machine to engineer his “Solar Sewing Rover”.
See more of Paul Nosa’s work.
Next, let’s take a look at the work of Mark Newport
Intimate Lines – Mark Newport
Mark Newport is an accomplished artist and the head of the Fiber Department of Cranbrook Academy of Art.
His artworks which were on display at the Intimate Lines Exhibit in Hunterdon Museum are part of a series called the “Freedom Bedcover Series / Sampler Series Series”.
This is how he explains this series. The Freedom Bedcover is based on quilts given to a young man as he attains adulthood and social and economic independence from his father. He created the Sampler Series by hand embroidering on cartoon book covers. My youngest son was so happy to see the superheroes in Newport’s works. He could easily identify each one of them.
I really liked two things about his work. I liked that he was using a narrative that already existed in terms of cartoon stories which people could easily identify with. And I loved that he was sewing on paper, something I’ve been admiring for a while. Although he used hand embroidering, he challenged me to figure out how to do machine stitching on paper.
See more of Mark Newport’s work.
Intimate Lines – Richard Saja
Richard Saja just like Mark Newport is an artist who doesn’t start with a blank canvas. His canvas is the fabric toile.
A piece of toile fabric features a printed design depicting a scene or activity of some kind. But “toile” is a French word which means canvas. So it makes perfect sense that Saja uses toile as his canvas.
He uses cotton floss to embroider the images and scenes on toile fabrics. He describes his embroidery as “quirky, irreverent embellishments”
Learn more about Richard Saja’s work.
Intimate Lines – Melisa Zexter
Melisa Zexter uses photographs as her canvas. She combines her photography with embroidery. She hand sews stitches on the photos to intensify the images in them.
Unlike the other artists we’ve looked at in this exhibition, Melissa doesn’t embroider the details of the images in her photographs. Rather, she creates an intricate network of stitches “on top” of the entire surface of her photographs. This adds a separate “framework” on top of the original photo – a very interesting concept.
It’s as though Zexter wants to leave her photographs untouched while at the same time, she uses them as a background to tell a story which cannot be told without their presence in the scene.
Learn more about Melissa Zexter’s work.
I could go on and on to show you more of the work in this great exhibit. This exhibition is a wonderful testimony to the excellent talents available in this art form – drawing with thread. However, I’m going to give you a chance to enjoy this first part and I’ll come back with the part 2 later.
Finally, let me know what you think about this exhibit. It’s absolutely fabulous. And if you can, don’t forget to check it out. It’s ongoing until January 7, 2018, at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey.
Intimate Lines: Drawing with Threads (Part 2)
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Also published on Medium.