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Marie Watt, Blanket Stories: Ladder

Marie Watt, Blanket Stories: Ladder, installation (2005) stacked and folded wool blankets, salvaged cedar [Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA – Nov 13-Dec 24]

Marie Watt

Greg Kucera Gallery
Seattle QWA – Nov 13–Dec 24, 2008

Marie Watt, Demokratie Ist Lustig (Democracy is Merry)

Marie Watt, Demokratie Ist Lustig (Democracy is Merry) (2008), wool blankets, thread, silk organza [Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA – Nov 13-Dec 24]

Marie Watt, Canopy: Ledger

Marie Watt, Canopy: Ledger (2007) wood and reclaimed wool blankets [Greg
Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA – Nov 13-Dec 24]

Marie Watt, Susan B. Anthony With Woodland Influences

Marie Watt, Susan B. Anthony With Woodland Influences (2008) wool blankets, thread, silk organza [Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA – Nov 13-Dec 24]

Over the last several years, Portland-based artist Marie Watt has had much recognition for her Blanket Stories. The multidisciplinary artist collects wool blankets then forms towers of totem-like sculptures from the folded stacks. Watt also uses salvaged wood and translates her blanket pieces into bronze sculptures.

In her most recent work, Watt has created portraits by sewing reclaimed wool blankets into sculptural pieces. Much like her recent installation at the Portland Art Museum's Contemporary Northwest Art Awards exhibition, Watt's portraits are about human interconnectedness and the relationship of individuals to other people, especially in the context of historical events. Both iconic and anonymous people are represented from a broad spectrum of time. Watt, a Seneca woman, emphasizes the Iroquois notion that actions and decisions made today affect seven generations to come. She describes this concept as "Six Degrees and Seven Generations". "Six degrees of separation" is a contemporary phrase that encapsulates Watt's theme of the ways in which the lives of disparate individuals can, unknowingly, overlap.

Through her webs of images, Watt evokes a nonlinear narrative as much about memory and collective experience as it is about the personal. She creates humble associations between the Native Americans she is portraying and figures from Western society. The basic, elemental nature of her blankets, which ordinarily serve as shelter and protection, infuses the work with warmth and depth. As Watt puts it, "Wool blankets are simple objects with stories that connect us."

www.gregkucera.com

Allyn Cantor

 Tue, Feb 3, 2009