Zoloft on cloth: 360SEE's high-concept quilts reviewed

Walters_Promise of Pills.jpg

Alexandra Walters, Promise of Pills

Review by Claire Haasl

360SEE Gallery is a small, but inviting space that from the interior appears true to its mission "exhibit(ing) fine art, functional art, furniture, and design objects that address issues of sustainability through concept and material construction."  Witkov does just that with Quilted Portraits and Stitched Scenes, an exhibition in fabric.  The works of three artists are on display and while each piece is both beautiful and original, a series called The Promise of Pills catches my eye. The artist, Alexandra Walters, uses silk, cotton, and rayon floss to embroider single capsules of behavioral medications, like Zoloft, Lithium and Prozac, onto stretched linen,

cotton or scrubs. These small, but heavily loaded artworks are layered with threads of color as well as meaning, and one can only assume that like many of the people diagnosed with mental health diseases, Walters might also have been prescribed medication after

Walters_Drowsy.jpg

medication.  But although the subject of her work might be dim, the tone of it, from the colors of the thread to the children playing in the background of the fabric she used to sew Zoloft into, is not.  While Walters seems to be painting with string, the other female artist in the show, Gillian Bates is drawing with it.

 

 

 

 

 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Bates_Detail.jpg

Gillian Bates

Bates' sketch-like quality does not have any of the serious tones of Walters' and instead conjures up the laissez-faire kind of feelings you get when looking at the works of great impressionistic painters such as Renoir or Toulouse-Lautrec.  The third artist, Luke Haynes, is possibly the most surprising of the three.  It's not often that you find a male artist working in a medium that is traditionally a craft in which women are the main contributors, quilting.  And not only does

 

 

 
 

Haynes_Woods.jpg

Luke Haynes, Woods

Haynes' work astound the viewer with amazing images that seem to merge the tradition of quilting with modern design concepts, the craftsmanship and detail of each quilt is impressive.  While some might think that works in fabric should be considered craft, Haynes, Bates and Walters are definitely creating art.  All and all the exhibition at 360SEE is worth a look all the way around. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

Leave a comment