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Indepth Arts News:

"Kim Wintje and Susan Wilson/figurative sculpture"
2000-07-11 until 2000-08-25
Society of Arts and Crafts
Boston, MA, USA United States of America

For more than 20 years, Wintje has been making sculpture. Incorporating many fabric techniques, she now use recycled metal, wire, wood, canvas, and paint, to create sewn metal sculptures about pollution, habitat loss, complacency, human rights, extinction, and many other environmental and political issues. Her work has been part of collaborative shows, and one person exhibitions. From July 11 through August 25, 2000, The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, Massachusetts will exhibit her sewn metal sculpture at their Arch Street Gallery.

In 1993, an accepted collaborative proposal submitted to Inez McDermott, then director of New England College Gallery, Henniker, NH, resulted in a significant change in Wintje's direction as an artist and the materials she uses. The proposal gave her an opportunity to collaborate with another artist, to explore new materials, and to exhibit the year's work at the gallery. The years exploration focused on the tradition of ritual art forms that had relevance to her work as a visual artist. She was drawn to these forms because of the different orientation that they have from most western art, and that they are often incorporated into rituals that are used to reawaken, to remind us of an invisible, yet universal, pathway uniting and connecting all people with the earth and all its life forms. It was during this collaboration that she began experimenting with metal. Prior to this her sculpture had been constructed of fiber. Over the next few years her ideas evolved to incorporate mostly metal. Lisa Peakes came to Wintje's 1997 exhibition at AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH and wrote about her experience viewing Wintje's sculpture.

Despite the seeming unwieldy nature of the materials that make up these sculptures, they actually contain a lot of delicate work. Many of them are pieced together with metal stitches. In some places the stitching resembles medical sutures and in others it copies the simple line stitch used in cloth embroidery. I am delighted by this juxtaposition; that a technique that is most often used with a very pliant material is applied to a stiff medium. I love the jointured wooden peg-mounts that I learn the artist has found in the woods and stripped and whittled herself. I like that much of the materials she uses are recycled. I like the element of embossing the works with whimsical titles in block lettering. While some might feel that a work of art should speak for itself, I appreciate that Wintje has taken the time to compile some descriptive sentences about the pieces. The text is part of the work of course, and is full of hope and humor. Her Bottomless Ladle will feed all who are hungry. The text for the sculpture of an iron called The Fabric of Our Lives urges the viewer to Use this iron when your life is totally messed up. It will smooth things out making for a wrinkle free experience I left this exhibit feeling light and hopeful, full of admiration for the artist and aware of a larger sense of possibility for what art can do.

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