Last Saturday, Prints & Plants visited Center for Contemporary Arts's Tank Garage gallery for a fabric printmaking workshop inspired by Ciel Bergman's series of large-scale fabric works, "The Linens." If you have not seen this exhibition yet, GO!
The show, thoughtfully curated by independent curator, Angie Rizzo, gives visitors an inside look at Bergman's creative journey over the course of seven years (1970-1977). Bergman left her profession as a psychiatric nurse to devote her life to art, an act that later led to these works.
Moments of intention are written all over the canvases: vast vacant spaces invite contemplation, geometric shapes act as keys on "Spiritual Guide Maps" (the original name of the series), and the linens are not stretched, a choice that leaves edges moving in raw, undulating waves against the gallery walls.
Prints & Plants participants gathered around to discuss these works together before discussing the cross-section of a rutabaga from the Santa Fe Farmers' Market. What's the connection? What designs are present in natural plants and produce that can inspire our own lives? How are art and farming spiritual practices? How are we, as creative beings, connected to the earth?
“There's this idea that humans don't need nature," Bergman shares. "You and I can’t take our next breath without the natural world.”
We are intrinsically connected to the land and the food we eat. How can we more mindfully interact with these spaces and each other? What happens when we value local produce from the land as much as we value art in galleries and museums?
With these conversations as inspiration, we used local produce to create fabric prints of our own. People transformed old tees, sweatshirts, and sheets into revived, colorful works of art. All ages (seriously, a less-than-one-year-old was at the head of the table) gathered around to connect through creativity! A beautiful sight: art past and present.
"The Linens" is on view at CCA's Tank Garage through April 29th.