Thursday, April 03, 2014

Opening Today! Seeking: A White Mitten in a Blizzard

Opening Today!
Seeking: A White Mitten in a Blizzard
36" x 22"
Radical Elements
Our physical world is created out of the chemical elements, from hydrogen to platinum to arsenic. For this exhibit, each of the selected artists will create a new work that is influenced by an element from the periodic table. Inspirations can come from anything relating to that element, whether it is a play on the name, its color or the products made from it. Both representational and abstract works are welcomed.

As the second part of the Radical Elements theme, the artists will also be asked to move quilting beyond the usual materials of fabric and thread, exploring the function and decorative properties of different surfaces and stitching materials. This exhibit is the first to embrace the newly expanded definition of an art quilt and will be a signature exhibition for SAQA.

Curator: Jill Rumoshosky Werner
Travel Venues:
1.Cafritz Foundation Arts Center
Montgomery College - Takoma Park
Silver Springs, Maryland
April 3 - May 9, 2014

My work was influenced by the element Technitium, specifically the isotope Te-99m. It has a very short half-life (6 hours) and has stable decay products. It is uniquely well suited for it's role as a medical tracer. Mammograms do not detect cancer in patients with high density breast tissue. This is because both the tumor and the high density breast tissue appear white on a mammogram. It is compared to finding a “white mitten in a blizzard”. Molecular Breast Imaging uses Te-99m to definitively image breast cancer.

Before flipping the light switch, try guessing which nipples have cancer (LED bulbs behind them). Then flip the switch! The electricity goes straight to the bulbs in the same way that the Te goes straight to the tumors and makes them visible with the MBI. The lights will go off after 30 seconds.

I love the symbolism of the materials as they relate literally and metaphorically to breasts: nipples, white plastic milk cartons, and LED bulbs. The circuitry to make this piece light up was yet another layer, all held together on a black screen with embroidery thread. The bra hooks were donated by people affected by breast cancer, either personally or someone they loved. They represent the “catch” in the new technology, that each image provides the equivalent energy as 500 chest x-rays. Not ideal!

And, a catalog is available of the entire exhibit.  It was sent to me about a month ago.  I have read every page and re-read it.  It is FASCINATING!  I LOVE all the work in this exhibit.  A feast for the eyes and the brain.
And the works are listed by order of the elements in the periodic table.  Mine is number 43, and so for once, as a "York", I am not the last page, or the next to last page.  Hurray for the small things too!

Hope you get a chance to see this exhibit!


debbi d-w said...

Fascinating piece, Kathy. Wish I were close enough to see the whole exhibit. Maybe it will travel closer to Chicago sometime. Congrats on your part of it - inspiring.

Paula Kovarik said...

Inspiring work Kathy. Good for you in pushing the envelope on materials!

Kathy York said...

Thanks Debbi and Paula!
Wish I were close enough to see the entire exhibit in person too!