REVIEW: Amy Putansu's Breaking Waves

by - Friday, October 26, 2018

On September 20th Maiwa East's gallery space was animated with the sound of a flying shuttle. On exhibit was a new selection of weavings, displayed as artworks. At the loom was Amy Putansu herself, weaving and explaining what she was doing. Amy is especially well known for the ondulé technique whereby the weaver is able to transcend the rigid grid of the woven structure.

The event was introduced by Tim McLaughlin

A wave is a beautiful emblem of how graceful nature is — why break it? 

In fluid dynamics, a breaking wave is a wave whose amplitude reaches a critical level. 
Beyond this level the graceful sinuous form of the wave is transformed into turbulence. At this point, simple models that describe wave dynamics often become invalid, particularly those that assume linear behaviour.

I can’t say how happy I was to run across this definition of a braking wave. Because the “linear behaviour” that can no longer be explained fits perfectly into a weaving analogy. 
We all know how a wave breaks on the shoreline, how it overreaches itself, balancing for a moment against gravity.  

I encourage you to think of these weavings as what happens when you leave linearity behind. These are powerfully subtle works - deceptive in their simplicity. In each one you will find a weaver and her childhood growing up by the ocean. If you look deep enough you will find the emotions gathered while far from water, and a longing to return to a woven rhythms as old as life itself. 

Amy's exhibition ran September 20 to 23rd.

See all REVIEWS on the Maiwa Blog.

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