Review — Lisa Klakulak's Inspired Displacement

by - Saturday, October 14, 2017

Lisa Klakulak of Strong Felt took the audience on a journey of inspired displacement on Tuesday October 10 as she discussed the origins of her work, art, and teaching.

Lisa related a cycle of how a new body of work was inspired by travel, and then how that new body of work led to new invitations to teach or exhibit in countries or places where she had never been.

Some of these stories, and many of the pieces shown can be found on Lisa's website

The evening was introduced by Tim McLaughlin:

Merino wool fleece, silk fabric, waxed linen, copper wire, cotton fill, repurposed soap cage, keys; naturally dyed with madder root and indigo, rusted, wet felted, hand stitched construction.

Wool fiber, silk fabric, cotton and waxed linen thread, steel; wet felting techniques, clamp resisted natural dyeing with walnut hulls and indigo extract, free-motion machine stitching, hand stitched construction, non-toxic moth proofing, acetylene torch manipulation/welding

Wool fiber, cotton sewing thread, glass beads, magnets, steel; wet felted, naturally dyed with myrobalan and indigo, hand forged, sunken, planished, patinaed, oiled …

These are the descriptions that accompany some of Lisa Klaklak’s works. The evocations are to materials … and to process. The material is the place and the process is the pathway. Process is always a pathway - it is the journey that it is necessary to take to arrive at the work. We might ask ourselves … why are these particular descriptions so compelling? They read like modern poetry. And what about the actual work these descriptions have called into being?

Lisa Klakulak has taken felt work back to first principles. Like a natural philosopher she has investigated felt — its tension, its compression, its density, its resistance, its fundamental nature, where it wants to go, and where you can push it to be. 

She speaks about felt the way a winemaker speaks about grapes - the way a sculptor speaks about clay - in short, she speaks about felt like an artist. 

Her works are inspired. They can have an anatomical exactness as in the work “Foundation” - a spine constructed using differential shrinkage felted sculpting technique. Or they can sit at the juncture of materials, personal experience, and concern as in the work Reparation - a collaboration with Dyeing House Gallery in Prato Italy, to make a felted accessory that includes Murano glass fragments held in compartments felted from silk. The work was auctioned as part of a fundraiser to benefit the Anna Meyer hospital in Florence Italy.

But where does such an inspired artist turn for inspiration? That is the crux of tonight’s lecture. And here to explain it is Lisa Klakulak.

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  1. Is Lisa's lecture posted online? I would so love to hear it. Her work is amazing.

    Thank you so much.


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