Review: Amanda Curreri Turns Lesbian History Into Art With “Terra Tools”

In Amanda Curreri’s “Terra Tools: Blocks, Clocks, Rocks & Blades” (until July 17 at Romer Young), the artist presents a series of quilted works and two jackets. While living in Cincinnati – she was previously based in the Bay Area, now in Albuquerque – Curreri was selected by the Ohio Lesbian Archives, where she was featured on “Dinah,” a local newsletter. on lesbians (1975-97). With many works featuring fabric printed with illustrations of “Dinah,” Curreri fuses elements of lesbian stories that speak to the ingenuity of the craft and its community.

Making up the bulk of the exhibit, Curreri’s quilted murals explore clocks and clock-like shapes. The work “Free → Time” (2021) bases the series on a photographic image of a clock printed on fabric. Sliced ​​into triangles and stitched together, Curreri suggests fast moving nonlinear time. As an accompanying piece, in “Clock” (2021), Curreri moves in a more abstract fashion towards a clock-like form. With “Dinah” breasts imprinted on yellow, beige, red and indigo pie-shaped corners, Curreri suggests a range of skin tones, connected and rotating through time.

Amanda Curreri, “Clock”, 2021. Nuts, indigo, turmeric, avocado kernel and synthetic dyes on digitally printed cotton

As Curreri’s quilts invoke time, “OH Coat” (2019) pays homage to landmark LGBTQ + legislation. In a simple recycled denim jacket, “O” and “H” are simply embroidered on the left and right chest. The letters represent the state of Ohio – where she lived at the time – and the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v Hodges case, which led to the Equal Marriage Act of 2015. The artist creates a poignant parallel between clothing and the laws, where both protect the body and have an exteriority or a public face.

Close inspection reveals that Curreri has sewn “FREEDOM” along the neckline, while “TO LOVE” and “TO MARRY” flank the left and right sides of the jacket opening. As the texts travel the seams, they are on the verge of being visible to viewers and also suggest the individual’s privacy. Plus, while the ‘Dinah’ chest pattern covers the jacket, Curreri hints at the intimacy of the body and life partners. In this beautifully touching work, Curreri positions love, relationships, and bodies within the jacket lining, as values ​​and people close to us.

Amanda Curreri, “OH coat, 2019

Additionally, in “Wild Patience Pocket Poncho” (2019), Curreri presents a poncho assembled from recycled denim. As a comfortable outerwear garment, Curreri’s poncho is equipped with many additional pockets placed in unconventional places. While the pockets are typically positioned on the chest, buttocks, waist and hips, Curreri offers normative clothing design for bodies and people who may have different needs or wants.

Curreri’s pockets also suggest places to hold the many tools one might need for travel, a more neutral replacement for a purse. More poetically, the poncho offers a myriad of places for the hands when cold, awkward or tired. As artists and activists craft objects and communities, hardworking hands need a place to rest and feel comfortable.

Curreri’s work possesses an ingenuity, material and spirit, where resilience does what one needs, be it laws, communities or clothing. Beautifully, Curreri’s couture suggests the assemblage of history and community, where activism merges with stewardship of values ​​and the people one holds close to.

“Amanda Curreri: Terra Tools: Blocks, Clocks, Rocks and Blades” runs through July 17 at Romer Young Gallery, SF. More info here.

About Debra D. Johnson

Check Also

5 online photography tools to improve the quality of your images

Your photos may not always come out the way you expected. Fortunately, there are plenty …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *