Friday, June 3, 2016

On Display: Salley Mavor’s "Wee World"

New in our ThinkSpace exhibit, discover an installation of intricate illustrations in fabric relief collage plus three-dimensional dolls and houses created by artist Salley Mavor of Wee Folk Studio, illustrator of more than a dozen exquisite books.

Credit: Salley Mavor

The ThinkSpace “geometry gallery” features displays of objects that provide different representations of spatial thinking in everyday life and the designed environment.  In creating her illustrations, Salley starts in 2-D with simple sketches and layouts before moving to 3-D to sew and incorporate various materials, including fabrics and natural and handmade objects.  The finished 3-D fabric reliefs are then photographed and printed in her books in 2-D.

From Salley’s website:
“I have had a life-long fascination with little things and needlework and rediscovered my childhood delight in sewing and creating miniature scenes while studying illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design.  Manipulating materials in my hands with a needle and thread was so much more satisfying than rendering with a pencil or brush.  I found that I could communicate my ideas more clearly and that my hands would direct me in a compelling way... I create narrative scenes in relief, much like miniature, shallow stage sets, with figures imposed on embellished fabric backgrounds.  My work is decorative and detailed, full of patterns from nature and found objects, all stitched by hand with a needle and thread.”
Credit: Salley Mavor

The display will be on view through early January, and visitors can also browse one of Salley’s beautiful books nearby – “Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes.”  Inspired by the installation, families can craft their own fairy houses from natural and found objects on June 4 & 5 and make “pocket fairies” from fabric and other materials on July 7; see our calendar of activities for details.

Though Salley is a Cape Code resident and RISD graduate, this is the first time her incredible work has been displayed in Rhode Island – but it’s not the last!  She also has an exhibit of her needle art at Bristol Art Museum this fall, from September 16 - October 30, 2016.

Learn more about Salley’s work and process on her website, and in this excellent interview.

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