Arline Fisch: Creatures from the Deep

Posted July 7, 2011 in Blog

In 2008, the Racine Art Museum (RAM) commissioned internationally acclaimed jewelry artist Arline Fisch to create a special installation for its Windows on Fifth Gallery. Bringing her work to a grand scale, Creatures from the Deep showcases Fisch’s use of knitting and crocheting techniques to create larger-than-life sea creatures made of wire. HCCC has reconfigured the touring version of this installation, transforming the small gallery into an underwater world of floating jellyfish. When planning the show, Fisch decided to organize the jellyfish forms into families. Each of the families in the installation varies dramatically in form and color, suggesting different species of jellyfish, corals and sea anemones.

Fisch pioneered the application of textile techniques to sculptural work in metal that pushed the boundaries between jewelry and dress. Her integration of weaving, knitting, crocheting and braiding of metal into the creation of jewelry was a groundbreaking technique that has become standard among her contemporaries.

Arline Fisch, Orthocanna (Orthocanna -- Marrus Orthocanna Siphonophore), 2008. Coated copper wire. 60" x 9" x 9" to 108" x 9" x 9". Collection of the artist. Photo by William Gullette.

Photograph of an actual Orthocanna.

For Creatures from the Deep, Fisch took inspiration from RAM’s physical proximity to the waters of Lake Michigan and decided to revisit her interest in the forms and colors of jellyfish.

Arline Fisch, Black Sea Nettle (Chrysaora achlyos), 2008. Coated copper wire 84" x 108" x 16". Collection of the artist. Photo by William Gullette.

Photograph of an actual Orthocanna.

Fisch’s sculptures are made using the various textile techniques she uses in her jewelry. She uses small-gauged, coated magnet wire, which is commonly used for industrial purposes.

Come immerse yourself in this incredible handmade underwater environment and learn about the creatures that were the inspiration for this body of work. Arline Fisch: Creatures from the Deep will be on display through July 30, 2011. Our summer hours are: Tuesday – Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM, closed Sundays July 3 – September 4, 2011.