The Impossibility of Doing Nothing at The Reading Room. Across from Fair Park on Parry Avenue in a tiny space, Karen Weiner has set up an unusual kind of gallery experience. Described in her own words, “A project space which, through occasional readings, performances and installations, will explore the many ways in which text and image interact.” Personally I believe that most, if not all, good things happen only in small rooms.
Yesterday evening, during library hours, two of Candace Hicks’ hand sewn books were exhibited. One big and one small book. Please note that my photos cannot do enough justice depicting the exquisite beauty of Candace’s creations. I can’t imagine how many hours it must have taken to embroider these books. She found her inspiration in Kurt Vonnegut’s book, Breakfast of Champions, written in 1973, and Karen happened to have a copy of it on hand. I have now added this book to my Amazon wish list of books that I can’t afford just now.
Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of traditional feminine crafts being reinvented into serious art works. It seems like just ten years ago, these domestic crafts were held in huge disdain within the contemporary art world. I have always been embarrassed to admit to the serious art crowd how much I love doing needlepoint and wishing all along that more women would push these crafting skills to a new level. I’m just not into the “cutesy” stuff that is so prevalent in our local shops and on etsy.com. Bunny rabbits and woodland creatures just don’t make interesting needlepoint projects. And the same goes for all the cute Christmas stuff.
In addition to Candace’s books, there were tiny prints by Madeline Djerejian displayed on two walls. There’s a good photo of one of these pieces on Rebecca Sherman’s blog which also includes a very comprehensive post about The Reading Room.
The Reading Room will be closed during the Texas State Fair, but keep checking Karen Weiner’s blog for updates.