Saturday, January 18, 2014

A magical menagerie

Hamilton artist Juliana Boyd has an exhibit at the Hamilton Library, showcasing her amazingly intricate, two-dimensional textile works of art. 

In a former life Juliana was an apparel designer, but more recently this Irish lass has gone to the wild side! She uses a combination of appliqué (using upholstery fabric) and a centuries-old process of needle felting (using un-spun wool in myriad hues) to create wool “paintings” of  all manner of happy critters—both domestic and wild. The artist has felted a magical fauna menagerie of foxes, field mice, hedgehogs, birds, backyard bunnies, and my person favorite... chipmunks! And there's flora too—several beautiful flowers! In one example of a spectacular blue colored morning glory, you clearly see the skill of Juliana's craft with all the lovely shading gradations she achieves by felting. 

The artist also takes on commissions, in case you've ever considered timelessly immortalizing your family pet. The animals are usually perched in regal wing back chairs, or on fluffy, tufted cushions. In the show there's a darling little terrier perched on a blue and white toile covered chair! The show runs to February 1, so don't miss it. (the show has been extended until the end of February!), You won't believe these works are made of wool and fabric, and you'll leave feeling warm and—sorry, can't resist—fuzzy! And when you go, make sure to look closely at the eyes... they really twinkle with life. 

I admire Juliana's skill, her love of nature, and her imagination — which was inspired at a young age by stories of Growler and Renard, a wolf and a fox respectively, that her father told to her and her siblings. Read more about Juliana and her enchanting artwork by clicking here!

Charmingly worded 
in her press release, Juliana writes:

In these quiet January days it might be nice to
re-visit the woolly world of Growler and Renard 
at the Hamilton Wenham Library. The woodland 
creatures have taken up residence among the 
bookstacks, and flowers are peeking out 
to remind us of spring days ahead.

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