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December 10, 2015 to January 3, 2016

HomeWork: Asimina Chremos & Erin Endicott

Opening Reception: Tuesday, December 15, 5 to 7pm

The Philadelphia Art Alliance is pleased to host HomeWork, an exhibition guest curated by Alex Stadler, featuring the work of Asimina Chremos and Erin Endicott. Both fiber-based artists, both Chremos and Endicott will present their most recent bodies of work, demonstrating their specialized mastery of techniques used in crochet and embroidery, respectively.

Asimina Chremos

As a dancer and a visual artist, the work of Asimina Chremos is rooted in the structured techniques she learned through her formal ballet training as well as the study of symmetrical patterning found in traditional lace and doilies. In fact, Chremos learned crochet from her grandmothers, one Greek and one American. Her mother is a fiber artist as well, which gave her early exposure to the loom and the spinning wheel.

Mastering these traditional techniques has allowed Chremos to develop a more experimental approach to her process, stating "While traditional forms hold the values of a collectively held culture, it is the unpredictable embodied life-experiences of individuals that keep those forms fresh and relevant. Formal study of historical practices, combined with spacious openness that allows improvisation, is at the core of innovation and connects the past to the future." In 2014, Chremos began combining these two artistic practices of dance and crochet, developing performances that allow her to use her body to activate the work.

Erin Endicott

Endicott's latest series Healing Sutras is inspired by the vintage fabric garments that have been passed down to the artist by friends and family members. Sutra, meaning "to stitch" in Sanskrit, refers to her interest in probing what she terms the psychological "wounds" that she has inherited over time. Endicott states,"I'm particularly intrigued by the concept of inherited wounds; specific patterns, behaviors, reactions that we are born with - already seeded into our psyche at birth. By bringing these dark areas into the light, by making them visible, I believe we can heal these wounds. Some people talk through their issues to bring healing, some write them out to shed light on them , I choose to make them into visible, visceral objects."

Endicott's process begins with staining the vintage garment with walnut ink. The spread of the ink is a process outside of the artist's control that is dictated by the weave of the fabric. The stain that is created then becomes the "map" for the intricate stitching that is overlaid onto the garment. It is the meditative process of stitching over extended periods of time that relates to the concept of "healing" that is at the core of her work.

Guest Curator Alex Stadler

Alex Stadler is a 25-year resident of Philadelphia and a 1990 graduate of Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in printmaking.  He is the author and illustrator of ten books for children, including What Willie Wore and the Beverly Billingsly series for Harcourt.  Stadler has created collaborative collections with Comme des Garcons, Todd Oldham, babyGap, John Bartlette and JF Sons and is currently the proprietor of stadler-Kahn and designer of the stadler-Kahn line of scarves, clothing and accessories.

Tags: fiber, installation, performance, textiles