Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Textiles in a Tube 2

I mentioned yesterday that I was intrigued by how big a piece of art could emerge from a 36 x 3" mailing tube in the Textiles in a Tube 2 exhibit.  The grand prize for expansiveness has to go to Shelley Brenner Baird for her installation.

Shelley Baird, Textiled, installation view, details below

This piece consists of 1008 fabric circles, each a tad under three inches in diameter, dyed and screenprinted.  Each one came backed with double-sided tape, and the gallery people stuck each one to the wall on a grid, a process that took many, many hours.

I liked the sheer audacity of making a piece of art that would command half the gallery, but I shouldn't have been surprised -- last year Shelley took best in show in Textiles in a Tube for her fabric accordion book that also took over an entire wall.

Shelley Baird, A Long Story, installation view, detail below

Both these pieces are similar in feeling and subject matter -- they're both complilations of mysterious fragments of text and imagery, telling stories that we can only guess at.  I'm intrigued.

And I have to wonder whether Shelley is taking this show as a personal challenge to see how much space she can pack into a mailing tube.  What will she come up with next year?


  1. When you juried Shelly's piece in, did you realize how much work would be involved in the installation? I can't imagine what a huge job it was, marking out the grid and putting those circles up, but I must say that it does make quite a statement.
    I really like what I've see so far (I'm writing this after having viewed four posts about the show). I especially liked Bully Sheild,Crossover, and Flow, but they all look terrific. This is one show that I would love to see in person, but South Carolina is a bit too far.

  2. Kathleen, were these judged from digital images? I would have had a hard time photographing something as large as Textiled but I love it on the wall as shown (and grats on the staff for the installation.

  3. Norma -- I did realize that it was going to be a lot of work for the gallery staff, and I had a conversation with the director before we announced the final choices. Asked her if there had been information nor provided to the juror about installation, and was she up to it. The response was that she loves the challenge of exotic installations and we should go for it.

    Mary Beth -- yes, the show was juried from images. Shelley was not able to photograph the entire piece but could show 266 circles, plus a detail. (there was some latitude for the gallery people as to how tall and how long the final piece would be arranged, and indeed they decided to let the circles turn the corner of the room, which Shelley had not anticipated)