SURFACE TENSION by Jane Whitten, Maggie J. Whitten, and Nancy Cole

On Display in the Hilda Woolnought Gallery at The Guild from August 29 to September 27

Comprising a diverse presentation of wall-mounted and sculptural pieces, this exhibition explores the work of three Island women artists who engage dystopian realisms through embroidery, digital mediums, and environmental textiles.

Jane Whitten, an experimental textile artist, uses traditional basketry and quilting techniques in non-traditional ways — and with unconventional materials. Through her work, she engages viewers and forces them to reflect on issues impacting the environment.

Maggie J. Whitten Henry‘s work explores the entangled relationship of sense of place, islandness, heritage, and identity. Characterized by recurrence, reiteration, and refiguration, these works play with traditional quilting techniques in a digital context, staying true to their origins by making use of carefully selected existing materials to create digital patchworks, which are then printed onto silk as quilt-sized tapestries. The result is a family of textiles which are at once decorative and functional — and layered in multidimensional meaning. 

Nancy Cole uses the French knot embroidery stitch to interpret legacy on an obsessive scale. Her work is intimate even with chance encounters with strangers. Legacy, abandonment, and nostalgia are the main themes in her primarily figurative, portrait, and sometimes conceptual-based practice. Her combining of photographic imagery and thread work ranges from hyper-realistic to ephemeral bordering on abstract.