You are welcome to view the exhibition in any order.
This show was originally conceived as an exploration of the territory "Beyond the Banner" the realm where traditional fabric adornments for the Church give way to large-scale installations and other new creations. But when you put out a general invitation, your only guarantee is surprise. Among the 150-plus works submitted, there were a few installations. There was also a great number of beautifully crafted vestments, as well as some very interesting quilts and devotional pieces. And yes, the banner is alive and well!
Fiber art draws from both the fine art and craft traditions. As a medium, it is accessible to a wider spectrum of artists than many of the arts associated with the Church. This show represents the work of professional artists as well as amateurs those who truly love what they do. I have come away from the project with a great sense of gratitude for the gifts of both. Professional artists in the church have to be willing to make sacrifices to live by what they make. And non-professionals need to find the time and resources to create, in spite of all the distractions that mitigate against the love of making beautiful things in the service of God.
Here, then, is a sampling of the marvelous variety of works on fabric that is to be seen in churches across the U.S., plus the work a couple of British needleworkers whose stunning creations are a fitting legacy to the late, lamented Beryl Dean. I hope you have as much fun looking at these as I did assembling the show.
A note for the future: While the work submitted does show a great variety of styles and artistic visions, it is not as culturally diverse as the actual membership of the Episcopal Church. Perhaps this is a "growing edge". Not only do congregations and church leaders have an opportunity to look beyond traditional forms for fabric art, but to artistic visions from new quarters that will truly mirror the richness of diversity in our congregations.
The Rev. Eliza Linley
|©2001 The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts|