I waited until this evening to post because June, Gerrie and I went over the river to Vancouver, WA this afternoon to see Ann Johnston’s new show at the Vancouver WSU campus and to hear Ann talk about her new work.
Ann is a Portland, OR fiber artist, but is well-known nationally and internationally largely for her excellent books on dyeing. She is prolific and as we were driving home tonight we were talking about how Ann seems to continue to explore and grow and just when you think you have seen her best work she takes off in a new and exciting direction.
This show is called “Line vs. Shape”. That’s June and Gerrie looking.
The last time I saw a group of Ann’s work was nearly a year ago as part of “Speaking in Cloth” the work of 6 NW fiber artists. It showed first in Coos Bay, OR, then traveled. There is also a book available from Ann’s web site of that show. You can actually see some of that show online here. I loved Ann’s work in that show. It was elegant, subdued and richly textured. This newer work is far more exuberant and the color is intense, hot and pulsing.
Sand in the Wind
The Pendulum’s Swing
During her talk and slide show Ann talked about recurring shapes, particularly crosses, like this piece.
I find it interesting that Ann has series that have continued on for years. The cross series spans a number of years and changing styles. Another:
The richness of this piece comes from layering of dyeing, printing, stitching and stitching a second pattern over the first. A detail of the stitching:
This piece was the one piece that reminded me of the work I had seen in the “Speaking in Cloth” show—more subdued, with Ann’s elegant sense of rhythm and repetition, but the stitching links it to the more joyful feel of these newer works.
We learned from Ann’s talk that she recently acquired a long-arm quilting machine and she has found a new freedom of motion in her quilting line, creating that wonderful spontaneous feeling that we had noted when we viewed the quilts.
I hope June and Gerrie will comment with their views of the show. If you are in the vicinity of Vancouver, WA I recommend setting aside some time to see the show. I think you will find it worthwhile. Ann did mention that she was told they may be doing some plaster work in the building and will take the show down during the work, so call ahead to make sure it is viewable on the day you go. More information on Ann’s web site: http://www.annjohnston.net/octoberexhibit.html