Cyan Silhouettes: Works by
Anna Mavromatis & Thea Clark
January 31, 2014 — March 30, 2014
In the Artist Hall
Friday, January 31, 5:30 – 7:00 PM
5:45 PM Artist Talk
As a participating space of the FotoFest 2014 Biennial, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft presents Cyan Silhouettes: Works by Anna Mavromatis & Thea Clark, on view January 31 – March 30, 2014. Captured by rays of ultraviolet light onto silk, paper, and linen, fragments bearing an uncanny familiarity and a collection of photographs and mementos take the form of Prussian-blue and dark-brown silhouettes. Through handmade books, jewelry, quilts, and clothing, Anna Mavromatis and Thea Clark employ the cyanotype process to expose the memories and associations assigned to personal possessions. Used to shape identity and strengthen ties with the past, the significance of these objects is as transitory as the photographic process used to render their likeness. While each cyanotype marks an impression, these imprints, and the viewer’s relationship to them, evolve over time like the silhouettes created by exposure to the sun.
Houston-based artist Anna Mavromatis draws from her knowledge of printmaking, book arts, and fashion design to stitch together stories and reflections of her Greek heritage and family history in her installation-based work. Narrated through the blue and white colors of her homeland, Mavromatis expresses her emotional connection to photographs and mementos that she keeps. Raised in Greece and having lived in the UK, Italy, and, currently, the United States, Mavromatis’ work reflects a life full of rich cultural inspiration. In her printmaking, cicada wings echo the shape of Byzantine ornamentation, creating a unique rhythm throughout the collection. When looking at these patterns, the viewer can almost hear the loud collective humming of the cicadas.
In comparison, New Jersey metalsmith Thea Clark’s series, Fluidity + Form addresses the changing self by translating metal, fiber, and wood forms into silk cyanotypes, which are the inspiration behind her collection. Echoing the shapes of the resulting blue and white compositions, metal and wooden structures, coated in pink plastic, work to create a palpable relationship between viewer and object. Clark relies on the viewer’s subconscious to project narratives and associations onto her brooches and necklaces. While many of her pieces call attention to a feminine identity, with pearls and forms that resemble lace and hair rollers, certain works take on a more masculine role through images of wood fragments and shavings.
Cyan Silhouettes was curated by Kathryn Hall, Curatorial Fellow at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
FotoFest 2014 Biennial
The FotoFest 2014 Biennial marks the Fifteenth International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art, which runs March 15 – April 27, 2014. Taking place in spaces throughout Houston, Texas, FotoFest is the oldest and longest running photographic event in the United States. The FotoFest 2014 Biennial includes over 100 museums, art galleries, nonprofit art centers and corporate spaces. For more information and related events, visit www.fotofest.org.
Above: (1) FotoFest 2014 Logo. (2) Thea Clark, “Cyan Chain,” 2010. Cyanotype on silk, paper, nickel silver, plastic grid, tinted plastic, wood, pearls. Photo by Terry Green Photography. (3) Thea Clark, “Cyan House,” 2012. Wood, brass, cyanotype on silk, nickel, silk cord, silver, tinted plastic. Photo by Larry Sanders. (4) Thea Clark, “Cyan Square,” 2010. Wood, copper, plexiglass, cyanotype on silk, tinted plastic, nickel silver. Photo by Terry Green Photography. (5) Thea Clark, “Root,” 2011. Wood, found plastic, nickel, cyanotype on silk, cotton thread, silver chain, tinted plastic. Photo by Steven Brian Samuels. (6) Thea Clark, “Six Degrees,” 2011. Wood, copper, plexiglass, pvc, cyanotype on silk, tinted plastic. Photo by Steven Brian Samuels. (7) Anna Mavromatis, “Night Rhythms” (detail), 2013. Cyanotype on paper. Photo by Anna Mavromatis. (8) Anna Mavromatis, “Night Rhythms” (detail), 2013. Cyanotype on paper. Photo by Anna Mavromatis. (9) Anna Mavromatis, “Stitch by Stitch I,” 2013. Embroidered cyanotype on linen square. Photo by Anna Mavromatis. (10) Anna Mavromatis, “Stitching Words of Wisdom…,” 2013. Embroidered cyanotypes on linen squares. Photo by Anna Mavromatis. (10) Anna Mavromatis, “Summer Samplings,” 2013. Cyanotypes assembled into a two‐side concertina. Photo by Anna Mavromatis. (11) Anna Mavromatis, “Summer Samplings,” 2013. Cyanotypes assembled into a two‐side concertina. Photo by Anna Mavromatis.