Artist: Heather Anacker
Media: Fiber, Textiles, Metals, Mixed-Media, Installation
Artist: Krista Feld
Media: Metals, Wood, Textiles, Fiber, Mixed-Media, Installation
Heather Anacker and Krista Feld are a collaborative group who showed their BFA gallery “Dwelling” back in March of 2013 at the CSULB School of Art. Students of similar interests, both artists shared their own creations and tools in the woodworks and weaving talents at the exhibition. “Dwelling” is a reflective and hands-on gallery that showcases the women’s different work spaces, pieces and tools that were used. Another section of the room is their kitchen where the duo would prepare two Indian dishes for lunch for whoever passes by, giving them a glimpse of the artists’ daily life in nutrition. Unlike many other galleries happening around the same time, Anacker and Feld had their viewers take their shoes off at the entrance. This small extra step, though arose hesitation, was used as a form of showing more commitment and dedication to looking at the pieces rather than easily glancing at an artwork for 3 seconds before walking to the next or exiting.
The sizes and pieces of their artworks vary tremendously from small carving tools to companioning backpacks and giant soumak weaving. Though the colours did vary from piece to piece, most stayed with their neutral earthy tone unless touched with the two’s simmering dyeing creations. Through the colour tones and types of media used by the artists, this exhibition gave off a very homey feel which achieves its title’s purpose, the “Dwelling”. Despite looking very simple, most items were handmade so the items felt more personal, purposeful and held a higher value in comparison to mass-produced creations assembled through manufacturers. This interconnection along with the warm colours and physical weaving experience helped bring this gallery to life.
When assembling her jars of spices and sawdust, Feld wanted to show the viewers that even sawdust had some potential usage “even in its last little state of materiality” by simmering it into a dye. The idea of a personal or isolating space is also prominent as both artists display their work space; Feld’s being a small transportable room with all her simple necessities while Anacker brought her desk with the pictures-covering wall, ginger snack and weaved ceiling chair that would wrap the person up like a cocoon. During the lunch rush, visitors can choose from the arrays of ceramic spoons and bowls, each with a different name assigned to them. As stated before, these art pieces all contribute to the general theme of “Dwelling”: a dedicated step into the home of two fine arts artists through the materials they work with and the foods they enjoy.
This is a refreshing sight to see from the usual arts exhibitions with paintings on the walls that contain flexible meanings depending on the eyes of the beholder. Instead, “Dwelling” was very concrete and hands-on; this was something someone can touch, can feel, can taste the same textures as the next person. Fine arts seems to add more life to the almost-monotone galleries of standing there and staring at a canvas by switching in the possible interactions. Though weaving is not an interest I find myself diving into, woodworking is and to see all the tools having set up on the wall was a bit exciting to see and learn about the sawdust bit or the portable table that can fold itself inward. Artists of many talents, Anacker and Feld’s compelling gallery have opened a different style of exhibition to the eyes of this arts newbie.
The interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD1O6jUMXlY