Fibre artist and textile designer Ealish Wilson creates bespoke sculptural textiles that showcases materiality and craft. Her architectural and whimsical constructions are inspired by travel, fashion, photography, and traditional sewing techniques. Each piece contrasts the old with the new, building layers of constructed and deconstructed elements.
The art of making is at the heart of every step of the work. Making is not just an end point, but the very first step in the creation of each piece. Early samples, images, and textures are worked and reworked throughout the process. Materials are often converted to digital form, manipulated, then returned to textile to be meticulously finished by hand.
Drawing on aesthetic traditions from Japan and the arts and crafts movement, Ealish’s personal touch is evident in all she produces. Whether the piece features many hours of smocking work or patterns carefully manipulated to trick the eye and create depth, the result of this meditative process is a work of timeless beauty and intricate simplicity.
Most of my art work is figurative and representational. My paintings and drawings are based in experiences which have had deep emotional impact on me. The human element is an important key to unlocking the amazing resources of imagination which produce the visual drama of my paintings. While the images in my paintings seem more or less derived from nature they are not intended to be representations of ordinary everyday reality. I enjoy working with bright vivid colors in oil on canvas, in order to evoke a striking experience. As I paint I continuously ponder the structure and concepts of my images in order to insure that they correspond to my sense of the experiences underlying them. Objects depicted in dissimilar ways can become poetic in a painting.
Recently I have experimented with fabric constructions created with threads and strips of fabric from t-shirts my son with autism tears up on a daily basis. It was an exercise in abstraction and has inspired me to begin painting imaginary shreds on large panels.
I think my art will reward attentive viewers.
Collage is wonderfully open ended and it appeals to many artists of all ages, experience and skill. It is a forgiving process. There are those who practice perfection which can dazzle even the most jaded. Others like myself, move quickly through ideas, moving along in an expedient way, layering over mishaps, building to a conclusion without regard to ‘proper’ technique and materials. My intent as an artist and writer is always to find the poetry in the materials while being in the moment to reach something that feels fresh and new. I offer this poem, a collage of words that I wrote in 2009.i
What is Left Out
syllable by syllable
line by line
silent, impatient connections
dots of the imagination
this seamless composition
once finished echoes
like the singing bowl,
over and over
For the past ten years I have constructed painted paper kimonos based on a model from traditional
Japanese Buddhism. This kimono, or hakui, is a simple garment worn by all Buddhist pilgrims who
circumambulate the island of Shikoku in Japan. This garment works as a metaphor for experience and
memory because it is inscribed with both printed seals and brush painted blessings and sutra, or poems
written by monks that the pilgrim visits wearing the kimono. Thus, it is a skin of the pilgrim's
experience that is transformed by art and by the experience itself. Walking the long and (historically)
treacherous path the kimono becomes worn, stained, rain washed, and layered/faded with the art works
describing the experience, attesting to the pilgrimage. My work has been reformed and focused by this
discovery and it provides me with a new, spiritual and purposeful context.My kimonos are a kind of
multicultural hybrid or "quote" of the Asian Hakui and a more painterly, Western inflected process that
is my own.
I am a mature artist with over 40 years of painting experience and feel newly freed by using the Hakui
model. It provides me with a purpose for my own work, one that implies memory and loss,
functionality, and a context that although borrowed and implausible, informs my work with
significance in the light of the pilgrim experience. I have been living in Taiwan with my Taiwanese
partner who lost his US visa as a result of 9/11 and teaching HS Art in International schools for over
two years now. Our move to Taiwan is a pilgrimage of my own. I find that my own pilgrimage in Asia
and my experience here re-constructs the images and context of the kimonos ... the actuality of living in
Asia is so different from the imaginary.
This body of work includes paper reconstructions of kimono, priest robes (Kesa) and the paintings,
prints, and drawings that eventually become Kimonos. Kesa are made by wealthy parishioners and
given to monks and priests who are not allowed to own luxury goods, so the rich fabrics of the kesa
have been cut, pieced like quilts, and remade as non-luxury, scrap, recycling. This traditional practice
of remaking art in Asia is ancient, and suggests many post-modern appropriation practices in
contemporary Art from the West. Most Japanese Kesa are gold embroidered and sumptous though some
are plain, mine are paper and cloth and brush-painted and processed as a Western painting would be.
My eventual goal is to make a show that resembles the curio cabinets of the 19th Century explorers, a
collection of these objects as signs of a hybrid faux-culture that reflects my actual experience via
appropriated forms and quirky personal processes, as does my own pilgrimage in Asia now.
SMAart Gallery & Studio was founded in September 2012 and opened its doors at 1045 Sutter Street in San Francisco.
SMAart offers gallery exhibits, studio rentals and ceramic classes. While the center primarily caters to ceramic artists, artists of every media are welcome. Founder Steven M Allen opened SMAart to fulfill a longtime dream of having a gallery, a place to teach art to the community, and a place to create art in a creative open environment surrounded by other inspiring artists.
Conveniently located in the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood with access to several major bus lines. SMAart is also positioned in the heart of the Lower Polk Art Walk offering participating artists access to a burgeoning art scene.
I create pop art inspired by the street art, signage, and graffiti in urban neighborhoods. Like a visual DJ, I sample and remix found images to create new ones. Drawing inspiration from my background as an illustrator, graphic designer, and textile artist, I use vibrant silk and black cotton to create a stream-of-consciousness vision of an urban place that is both real and imagined.
My process involves exploring city neighborhoods and photographing street art, signs, and architectural details. I assemble a collage via computer, make patterns, and design the pieces, which are then made of silk and cotton and stretched on a frame. My art reflects the experience of city life and serves as an historical record of a neighborhood, in that the places I capture are constantly in a state of flux.
It is my intention to create thought provoking, one of a kind pieces of art. I started painting fabrics in 1972, this evolved into a fashion/wearable art business. My fabrics eventually went into the HOME DECOR market. I'm currently designing re-assembled jewelry, hand painted/dyed scarves/shawls/ wall hangings & mixed media collage..