Through May 4, visitors to the WCU Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center can enjoy a textile installation by Denise Bookwalter and Emma Lee Running. LINING: SHEATHING explores the protective quality of fabrics and textiles with a vast exhibit: a room-sized tent made from printed and dyed fabric panels is arranged around a skylight in the center of the space. The tent, which was inspired by yurts and other traditional tent structures, is printed with images of Icelandic wool, Fair Isle knit patterns and crewel work.
Visitors can enter the space, where the inner tent walls are lined with silk, and try on handmade garments. “The book, Lining, began this project,” says Running. “It is about the fabrics you wear next to your skin, which are sometimes different than the fabrics you share with the world.” The book Lining will be available for viewing inside the tent, as well as extra large wood block prints on handmade paper. “The paper is light and transparent, but also fabric-like,” says Running. “It billows if there is a breeze.” The installation, which was developed in residencies at Penland School of Crafts, Constellation Studios and Small Craft Advisory Press, is one of a variety of projects that Bookwalter and Running have worked on together over the past five years.
Outside the WCU Fine Arts Museum, visitors will find another installation by Running and Bookwalter. The three-story windows of the Star Atrium are covered with large, transparent images of the tent, which filter the afternoon light into an engaging array of shadows. The artists created the window piece specifically for the Star Atrium at Bardo Arts Center. “It is important to us that LINING: SHEATHING responds to the protective spaces where it is shown, as garments respond to the bodies they protect,” says Running.
The WCU Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center is located at 199 Centennial Drive in Cullowhee. For more information, visit bardoartscenter.wcu.edu.