REVIEW: Striped Bare Lecture with Rachel Meginnes

by - Saturday, October 27, 2018

Photo by Mercedes Jelinek, 2015.

On October 23, 2018 Rachel Meginnes delivered her lecture "Striped Bare: Deconstructing Textiles and the Artistic Process." Rachel detailed her artistic career and talked about crucial moments and decisions. It was an honest and deeply-felt presentation with emphasis on how artistic motivation and studio practice are combined to create meaningful work. Rachel also presented a diagrammatic figure  for understanding the success or failure of an artistic work to communicate with an audience. This figure sparked many questions from the audience after the talk.

From the "In Studio" section of Plainweave Studios

Rachel was introduced by Tim McLaughlin:

I was walking myself through the work of Rachel Meginnes in preparation for her return to teach and speak at Maiwa. I though how, in late winter, the day is sometimes wrapped in a white-grey fog. The air itself seems to drain the colour and contrast out of everything. The world becomes subtle; like an old billboard, bleached by the sun, weathered by the wind, washed by the rain. Wood silvers. Cloth unweaves itself, paper blisters and tears away.

And then I encountered Rachel’s statement: “Colour and surface should not be mere facade but rather a result of intent and effort over time.”

I read and reread that statement. I liked it. It seemed to indicate something true: That colour and surface are rewards of a kind. But I also caught a hint of contradiction in it. Colour and surface are the result of intent and effort. But who’s intention? Who’s effort? In a beautiful piece of cedar wood, silvered by the sun and found on the beach … where did the effort come from?

I’d like to suggest that Rachel’s statement is a lot like her artwork. The more you focus on it, the more it expands and draws you in. If you question it - it offers a suggestion of an answer, and then an alternative answer.

Rachel has spent a long time divining the subtle nature of process. She began her artistic career as a weaver, she studied textiles and indigo dyeing in Japan, she completed her MFA at the University of Washington, she co-owned and operated a rug design company producing hand-knotted, Tibetan carpets for the interiors trade. In 2012 she shifted gears and embarked on a three-year residency at the Penland School of Craft. Since then she has looked into the depths of process, surface, colour, technique and intention. Whatever truths or contradictions she has found there she has expressed in objects and artworks.

Please join me in welcoming Rachel Meginnes.

See all REVIEWS on the Maiwa Blog.

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