A Viewer's Rorschach, with Kristy Kun : Opulent Fibers

Felt, originally sought as a cheap art supply for her daughter’s school, transformed into the perfect refuge from the harried noise of Kun’s past as a furniture maker and an upholsterer.  Though a quiet pursuit, felt evolved into a strenuous process with potential to speak volumes.

The versatility of expression reflects human energy and artistic vision yielding to the unique physical properties of felt embedded with steel wire.  Kun likens her sculpture to reversing the role of wire to fence sheep in.  Stressing felt into a malleable medium occurs in water.  Wire yields to the contraction of drying felt.  A subtle bend evokes emotion and creates natural forms.  

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Two vertical cylinders of ivory-colored felt and wire present a “couple.”  The large tower stands upright, firm, with more straight lines.  Its smaller companion, gently twists inward as though to beckon or appeal to the other, like a knee pushing forward through the drapes of a gown.  The lines of the first tower coalesce toward the second.   Together, the scene is one of tender regard and possible reconciliation.

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A second piece is suspended between plexiglass.  Wires run horizontally through a vertical plane of felt, and are tethered at each end by red linen strands.  The wires seem to strain against each other, moving wildly like flapping laundry, only to remain bonded together – reminiscent of the ties that bind, like blood, like family. 

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Shape and density communicate even where wire is absent.  A single piece of ivory felt mesmerizes like languid ripples of water touched by breeze.  Its folds are widely spaced, deep and directional.  The shapes further morph into fish and birds much in the way clouds catalyze a daydream.  One feels at ease and tranquil.  

 

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Narrowing the width and increasing the frequency of folds engenders more turbulence.  Coils of wool compressed between folds adds to the “commotion in the ocean,” simulating the clashing of wind and surf.  When asked if this piece also exemplified water, Kun simply replied, “Maybe, but it reminded me of wood grain.” 

Photography courtesy of Kristy Kun. 

Find more at www.kristykun.com

Shows:

Lan Su Chinese Garden • October 4 - November 30 • Portland, OR • featured artist solo exhibit

Society of Contemporary Craft • October - December 2017 • Pittsburgh, PA • featured artist

Sitka Art Invitational • November 4-5 2017 • Portland, OR

Accumulating Energies: PNCA Group Show • November 2 - 22 2017 • Portland, OR • PNCA Mezzanine Gallery