Community Structure, Study #10

This piece hangs 17 crocheted fiberglass panels from a cedar structure. Each runner is approximately 20”X100” and utilizes a different traditional crochet pattern. All panels are related through the “same but different” principle…all are chevron or wave variants. All started with the same count of base chain and the same dry width measurement. Each of the crocheted patterns stretched differently when resin was applied thereby asserting their individuality. Color and texture relationships cluster cliques within the large group. Conversations voice from panel to panel, from panel to clique, from clique to clique.

I liken this piece loosely to community structures within the city of Chicago. The parallel lies in that the individuals and sub-groups within each of the two systems intermix and segregate at varies speeds and degree. The increments of change, degrees of sameness, and variety found within the crocheted communities are analogous to communities and structures that I see in Chicago.

The panels hang, perpendicular to the wall, at 60 degrees. Overlaps of panel colors create new lines. The variety of distances between translucent fiberglass and wall create shadows in multiple values and focuses. Evenly spaced panels, each with their own projection distance, squeeze out, through containment, negative space columns. Hundreds of tiny negative spaces created by each individual knot, both in fiberglass permanence and in shadow etched lace, seem to almost vibrate the immediate proximity of space. Containment is softened in varied degrees according to the size and shape of these pores.

The shadows cast, along with residue projections of color, play an active role in the articulation of the narrative. Shadows and projections from the fiberglass fill the gaps between the crocheted parts and create hybrid colonies; new relationships, new communities; cultures and sub-cultures. The complexity of relationships within “Community Structure, Study #10” is actively voiced through fiberglass, crochet, negative space, distance, translucency, light, and shadow.

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© Yvette Kaiser Smith 2004