My Unweavings® fiber art pieces convey spiritual narratives through form, color, texture and calligraphy. The words within each piece and the unwoven form that suggests these words serve as a visual midrash, evoking the poetry of various Biblical, spiritual and poetic texts. The unwoven spaces form symbolic shapes – wings, ladders, prayer shawls, veils, trees, falling waters, rivers, and the sacred architecture of windows, domes, and gates. The narrative is enhanced by my own distinctive iconography, indicating guardians, messengers, journeying and praying figures, processional figures and more.
By unweaving the fabric I make manifest what is hidden within the material – liberating the threads to create shape, then “reweaving” through color, texture, and text. The narrative emerges from the juxtaposition of images within the surface, from the texts I choose, and from the combination of color, texture and pattern which convey a sense of time and place. My work alludes to the oldest traditions of narrative textiles, but in a completely contemporary idiom. And the pieces become carriers of my individual and our collective memories, through the spiritual narratives they transmit.
The pieces in The Shabbat Project interpret and embed the Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning prayers that have had special resonance for me over the years, through the music that carries them. A soundscape* (on prepared iPods) accompanies the project, so that the viewer can listen to melodies – both ancient and contemporary – that interpret these prayers.
*Soundscape iPods can be borrowed at the Welcome Center.
This exhibition is made possible by the Koret Taube Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood.
See below for activities and events featuring Laurie Wohl as our Artist in Residence!
Saturday, May 4 • 3:00 – 5:30 pm • Free
Unplug. Slow Down. Mingle with family and friends and Meet artist Laurie Wohl as she demonstrates her work with textile. Appropriate for all ages.
Art with the Artist: Text and Textile Workshops
Adult Workshop: Ages 16+
Sunday, May 5 • 10:00 am – 12:30 pm • $40 Member/ $48 Public
In reading/feeling a particular spiritual text or poem, what shape and colors come to mind? How can a piece of canvas be worked or shaped to incorporate and reflect spiritual texts or poems? Participants will create an original piece incorporating Wohl’s Unweaving process. This workshop will focus on the relationship of text and form. The workshop will begin with a brief tour of the gallery.
Participants are asked to bring a spiritual text or poem to work with, and come prepared to say a few words about it. Materials included. Advance registration required. No prior experience necessary.
Youth Workshop: Ages 8–12
Monday, May 6 • 4:00 – 5:00 pm • $8 Member/Public
This is a shortened, age-appropriate version of Art with the Artist.
Monday, May 6 • 1:00 – 1:30 pm • Free for Members/$4 Public
1:00 – 1:30 pm PJCC Lobby
Free M/ $4 P
Laurie will talk about selected works in the gallery. Stay for her 2:00 pm lecture.
Food For Thought: The Shabbat Project
Following the gallery tour, Laurie Wohl will discuss the origins of the Kabbalat Shabbat service and the important roles that can be played in worship and prayer by music and its visual representation.