Yeah, we get it, do-it-yourself craft has been glamorized into mainstream art. Granny hobbies are now paradoxically cool. Knitting’s no longer stitched by the arthritic hand—in fact, it’s become underground street art.
Tamara Wilson is leading the DIY parade, reclining in her felt rocking chair with a thimble-capped finger. Betsy Ross sewed the American flag, but Wilson pretty much sewed her living room.
For those of you nitpickers with your nose in the air who say, “But sewing’s a craft, not an art,” go to this exhibition—just go. And those of you who are downright nosy and naturally curious, wondering what a 26-year-old Alaskan, University of New Mexico graduate student’s living room looks like, you definitely should go, too.
About two months ago, Erin Elder, curator at the Center for Contemporary Arts, approached Wilson with a proposition: to reinvent the blank space.
“The space had a sparse feel to it,” Wilson says, especially with the “tall ceilings.” And that’s when her noggin’s light bulb (actually, 100 of them) flashed yellow; she was going to recreate her living room.
Two months and a whole bunch of felt later, Wilson reproduced her most personal space, complete with 100 felt light bulbs, one felt couch, felt trash and so on and so forth. Wilson intimated the “sparse” space into her own domestic throne.
There’s a creature comfort aspect to her exhibition—aside from it being a blatant living room set, even the felt material has a “weird fuzzy comfort,” Wilson says.
Maybe it’s because she’s stationed in Albuquerque, miles and miles of thread away from her Alaskan upbringing, or because she grew up with a family of do-it-yourselfers who built their own home, sewed their own clothes and taught Wilson to do the same.
Point is, Wilson’s a quirky individual, equipped with a handy-dandy sewing machine and a whole bunch of synthetic material. And that’s pretty darn cool (pun intended).
Stitch Thought: 6-8 pm Friday, Oct. 26. Free. Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 982-1338