Home arrow Volume 9 Issue 1 Fall 2013 arrow Materia Vitale, Andrea Graham by Eva Basile
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big white
 Installation view of Big White, wet felted wool fibre, created on a resist, shibori stitched/fulled, 8ftx15x15, 2013, Photo by Kevo.biz - courtesy DHGart

Materia Vitale, Andrea Graham 
November 8th ìm2013 to January 8th, 2014
Spazio DHGArt
Via Mauro Marcello Panconi 15
59100 Prato PO – Italy
Open Mon-Fri 10 am – 5 pm

When I asked Andrea Graham to exhibit in a solo show in Prato I did not really know the reason. It was somehow by instinct: I had the feeling that her work would meet the expectations of the Italian audience and those of the DHGart team.

The first approach is always appealing with Andrea’s work: perfect technique, smooth colour transitions, elegant forms, her sculptures and functional art pieces are beautiful!

adaptations grey

Adaptations (grey), wet felted wool fibre, 60x28x3, 2009, Photo courtesy of Artist


Then, of course, I started to ‘study’: I looked at her website [1] red her blog [2] asked her to send me an artist statement. I was lucky to find a couple of interviews, on line [3]

I knew her interest for nature and it’s ability of surviving hostile conditions, adapting and taking nourishment from the transformation of the living matter. An optimistic approach her idea of “exploring themes of decay versus dilapidation and regeneration versus repair by using analogous form.”
Admiring nature is an universal feeling, we all do. But still something was missing, I was looking superficially. It took me I while to realise that  her ‘natural forms’ have slits and scars, often with unnaturally coloured outgrowths, forms emerging under the peel or the object’s skin. They are beautiful, of course, but they started to remind some more sinister outgrowths, I stated thinking of  Fukushima’s altered fruits.

green pods at DHG art

Pods (green), wet felted wool fibre, 48 x 36 x 4, cm 100 x 92 x 10.  2010 Photo by Kevo.biz - courtesy DHGart

Then, talking with her it became clear. Andrea  created her first pods thinking of the quality of the food we eat, the fact that we have no key to identify contaminated food, it all looks fresh and tasty.  Her fears are our fears, her art is silently talking to each of us.

The work on display in Prato, at the DHGart space until the 8th of January is a good selection of works on this theme. There is a visible transition to more abstract forms in the recent work, a more intensive use of metal and horse hair and the limitation to white with small gray/black accents. Her creatures are not so ‘vegetal’ anymore, perhaps they are starting to be invertebrates, simple forms of animal life? The use of latin in her titles would suggest that.

 I am Water

I Am Water, wet felted wool fibre, 48x48x12, 2012  Photo by Kevo.biz - courtesy DHGart

[1] Personal website: http://www.andrea-graham.com/
Interview at Felt United: http://www.feltunited.com/









Eva Basile Bio: Weaver, feltmaker and textile expert, Eva Basile dedicates to this passion all her time and efforts. She has exhibited, organised, written, discussed, taught: basically she can be considered a textile maniac, an activist.

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