|Artist / Creator||Adele Crawford|
|Place of Publication||Oakland, California|
|Medium / Materials||Found box, found Bible pages, found buttons, hand dyed tags, dowel|
|Signed & Numbered||Yes|
Loose Threads utilizes buttons from my Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother’s collection. She was a seamstress and did alterations for people. Not wanting to waste anything, she saved all the buttons as she removed them from the article of clothing she was altering, many with the threads left hanging or tightly held in the buttonholes. Thread typically holds fabric together and keeps buttons sewn onto fabric. When threads are loose there is a weakening creating a fragile or unstable state. I was thinking of the ways in which we keep feelings held tight and what happens when they loosen up -the ways we often hold emotions in, not showing any vulnerability. Occasionally when we let loose; our human emotion is exposed along with the vulnerability. I’ve glued the buttons onto a tag, hung them on a dowel, and boxed them up neatly and tightly to represent the holding tight of emotions. The hanging threads represent the possibility of letting loose, of embracing the vulnerability and the underlying emotion. The exterior of the box is covered with pages from an old German bible, representing the limits and boundaries associated with organized religion and the part the play in holding our emotions tightly.
Adele is a passionate collector and interpreter of ephemera, attracted to the photograph and all memorabilia especially with a patina. Wanting to honor societies throwaways she often rescues abandoned photographs from estate sales and family photo albums. Neatly compressed into the paper of a simple photo or object she sees a story and the power of evocation. She approaches these discoveries as interpretations of real moments, whether it is a Victorian photo album, her grandmother’s button collection or an empty box. She activates stories through her process of dissection/alteration/reconfiguration. As a reconstructive caretaker, she manipulates these images into new fabricated histories. The reinvention from old to new – motivates her work, questioning concepts of society and self. Through exploration and as a response to her accumulation she layers disparate histories together in order to set new ones in motion.