Arts and Entertainment

Glowen's gardens inspired by crop circles in Europe

“A Cottage Garden Grid I,” by Kathryn Glowen captures the riot of patterns and textures that are seen in a classic cottage garden of real flowers. It is made of vintage silk and acrylic paint set on 300 pound rag paper and measures 30 by 23 inches. - Photo courtesy KATHY GLOWEN
“A Cottage Garden Grid I,” by Kathryn Glowen captures the riot of patterns and textures that are seen in a classic cottage garden of real flowers. It is made of vintage silk and acrylic paint set on 300 pound rag paper and measures 30 by 23 inches.
— image credit: Photo courtesy KATHY GLOWEN

The artist who created the "Overhead Underfoot" works on display in the Arlington City Council Chambers, Kathryn Glowen is always coming up with some new idea. This past year, she spent all winter sewing "yoyos" out of vintage silk ties and instead of using them on a pillow or a quilt like most people, she assembled the little puckered wads of silk into circles and various patterns on paper and added some paint in a body of work she calls "Wonder/Allotment Gardens."

The concept was inspired by the gardens and crop circles that she saw while traveling in Germany and the Czech Republic last year. The collection of new works is currently displayed in the Lorinda Knight Gallery in Spokane through June 28.

"I started using plant materials, images and concepts in my art in 1999," Glowen said.

Arlington's "Overhead Underfoot" collection is an early example of her interest in the plant world. This new body of work uses plants in several ways.

"The plant materials I have used in this work have been processed," Glowen said. The vintage fabrics are made of silk from the silk worm. She transformed the silk into little flowers by a simple stitching technique and then she put them in a garden context by arranging them on paper and adding some paint strokes and pieces of flat fabric.

"The prints on the silk are often floral designs," Glowen said, elaborating on the complexity of the plant and garden theme.

"The yoyos are packed into circles or grids that simulate gardens," she said she liked the contradiction of using the formal ties that are associated with regimental flatness and business suits set in a riot of patterns and textures.

"The color of the silk seems to absorb light making the works playful and a bit out of control," she laughed.

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