Bridge 12: Betty Vera

Photographs of a textile mill floor—subtle scars, stains and roughened surfaces, the only evidence of a refrigeration plant that once occupied the site—are transformed into abstract images woven in fine threads on a Jacquard loom. Through these weavings, on view at the Society for Contemporary Craft as part of the Bridge Exhibition Series, New York artist Betty Vera searches beneath the superficiality, noise and visual clutter of everyday life to reveal the underlying solitude, deep silence and fleeting nature of existence.

With her use of a digital Jacquard loom, pixels become threads as the artist creates woven images that blur distinctions between computer technology, weaving, painting and photography. In her tapestries, aesthetics of form, texture and space reference human relationships, the environments people inhabit or the intangible forces of nature, such as the wind that pushed some trash against a fence to accumulate in the shadows or the graffiti occupying an otherwise empty wall. Vera explores aspects of reality that are often unseen, ignored or forgotten. About the work, the artist comments, “Industrial and urban surfaces record our own comings and goings—often without our realizing it—but sometimes intentionally as we scrawl cryptic messages for passersby to discover. Leaving traces of ourselves everywhere, we continually impose new layers of history over the old.”


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