Julia Karll

Fiber arts, installation
In Residence: June 23 – August 1, 2008
Opening Reception: July 31, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Exhibition: continues through Sept. 5, 2008

Julia Karll culminated her residency at PlatteForum with the installation of Knotted. Fiber artist Karll sees her art as a means of expressing emotional reactions to world situations, specifically the tragic stories in the daily news. Karll states: “Read. React. Record. This is how I process the news. Knotted is an expression of my reaction to world events, specifically the violence reported daily. Knotted was constructed by twisting strips of newspaper and connecting them into long, thick ropes, tied together into an intestine-like knot. Through the repetitive use of multiple knots, I designed this piece not only to symbolize the many physical and psychological losses from violent conflict, but also to create evidence of the time I expend on my self-imposed obsession to read and react to the news. In Knotted, I attempt to evoke an initial visceral response to the beauty of the craft and secondly to illustrate the subversive content within the work. Rigid sheets cover the wall to symbolize the mechanical way news is delivered, both straightforward and unfeeling. The knotted rope suspended before the wall represents my gut reaction to the news; an emotional combination of sorrow, the feeling of being overwhelmed, and my struggle between hope and hopelessness.”

Working with seven art teachers in PlatteForum’s Learning Labs for Educators, she transformed the gallery into an exhibition titled grey/re(a)d: in response. Seven individual sculptural works created by the teachers lead the viewer through the gallery to the Knotted. Each of these works use the raw material of newspapers, video, audiotape, and mixed media to interpret the theme. Combining new materials with traditional latch-hook, crochet, embroidery, and book art techniques, the artists worked collaboratively to create an environment which expresses not only how the news stories are a part of our everyday lives, but their deep and lasting effect.
Special thanks to
Diane Krough, University of Northern Colorado; Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins; Karen Saenz, Your Beveragemeister; Gourmet Fine Catering, Darby Donahue, owner