Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Color of Conflict

A body of work by John Hensel & Susan Hensel
WHEN: Dec 1, 2010-Jan. 1, 2011
            Reception: Dec. 17, 7-10pm
WHERE: Susan Hensel Gallery
             3441 Cedar Ave S
CONTACT:  Susan Hensel 612-722-2324

Color of Conflict, opening at Susan Hensel Gallery December 1, is a collaboration of photographer John Hensel and artist Susan Hensel.

A multimedia artist who seeks narrative, Ms. Hensel has brought the world of fiber art into her studio practice. Color of Conflict is a show of photographs that wrest the meaning from a series of yarns she has spun. These knittable yarns contain army toys as well as the colors and forms of armed conflict; but their true horror is revealed in the photographic display.

Ms Hensel defines the word transgression as breaking expected boundaries or expectations. Yarn is expected to be soft, warm, useful, at times even life saving. While it is often associated with leisure, craft and women's work, it is rarely thought of as an object, a material or a subject of fine art. In this project, yarn paradoxically uses its traditional softness to express a hard, harsh, violent reality. The allusions to the yarn’s life saving properties of warmth, padding, and protecting become a field of discussion about war and death. It uses a "women's art" to discuss a "man's pursuit."

Ms. Hensel took the risk of closing the Susan Hensel Gallery in order to return to studio practice and research; it was during this time this body of work was completed.  During the sabbatical she spent time exploring the narrative capabilities of fiber and became part of the artyarn movement, a radical group of spinners who push the idea of “yarn” to it’s maximum.  Usually, it is a lighthearted game about process and fun – spinning Halloween eyeballs and Christmas baubles into fluffy masses of wool. Ms. Hensel goes beyond the process of spinning yarn, she has been adding, multiplying, accreting and inserting meaning wherever she can into her handspun yarn.

There will be a reception for the artists on Friday, December 17, 7-10pm.