Silk and Spine, an exhibit combining the newest works from husband and wife Daniel and Vicki Essig, is on display at Blue Spiral 1 through Saturday, August 31. The mixed-media, book-based layers, rough hewn edges and antiqued surfaces of Daniel’s objects of curiosity contrast with the diaphanous, woven silk in Vicki’s intimate assemblages.
“At first glance our work seems very different,” says Vicki. “Daniel’s is darker and heavier while mine is light and airy, but they both show the curiosity of natural objects.”
Each also invites the viewer to look closer and discover what the piece might hold for them. Vicki’s silk is handwoven into intricate patterns, with small, often overlooked pieces from nature included. Some works contain slivers of antique text that reveal a hint of a message.
“Silk and Spine has inspired me to explore a new series of contemporary work created with a larger woven canvas,” says Vicki. “Some of the new work is sculptural which allows me to show the contrasting elements of strength and delicacy.”
Daniel’s carved wooden sculptural book forms take the shape of beasts, with each piece containing a miniature Ethiopian wooden volume. The contents of his books are built into the structures and objects that hold them. Viewers are invited to look past the basic book format and see the story that exists beyond what is contained on the page.
“I chose to revisit some ideas that I briefly explored in the past,” says Daniel. “The works will be familiar to my followers and collectors, but hopefully offer some surprises as well.
Blue Spiral 1 Gallery is located at 38 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit BlueSpiral1.com or call 828.251.0202.