I drove to the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, New York (205 Genesee Street) to view the Quilt=Art=Quilts show (blog post to follow). This fabulous show of textiles (or as she calls them – rugs) is by Ann Clarke and is located in the upstairs gallery through January 19, 2021.
It was only my second time up there due to the fact that previously, I did not know there was more than met the eye to the museum – there is a second floor accessed via stairs or elevator hidden behind the gallery shoppe and a basement room as well, where the museum hosts art classes and activities.
Clarke’s show is more than meets the eye too. It is full of eyes – the hooked wool rug variety. Although this technique was introduced to me in the 1970s as craft, Clarke’s deft handling of the media allows for nuances of color that create a feeling of light flickering throughout, which reminds one of time passing. She has elevated this former stitch-by-numbers-style craft into legitimate art.
The show is titled Lessons of Empathy in Wonderland. Clarke shares a journey of self as artist, and care-giver to her elderly mother. It reads as catharsis. She is literally and figuratively weaving the fragility of life and its complex relationships with love-infused yarn. This journey into an alternate universe (where the family narratives have changed) seems to have inspired empathy for her relationship with family in addition to finding personal solace, strength and depth of character within each intricately detailed piece in this collection.
It is a breathtaking exhibition. All of this large-scale work has been completed in the last two years. It is all so uniquely personal and yet, so compelling as one feels the resonance.
I love how life shows you what to do, what to create based on where you are on the emotional scale. And wherever you are, there will be others who totally see you. <3