Wearable Narratives:Kerr Grabowski

Wearable Narratives:Kerr Grabowski

Internationally acclaimed US fibre artist to exhibit in Newcastle

American-born fibre artist Kerr Grabowski will present her first Australian exhibition at Islington’s Timeless Textiles gallery in April 2014.

The Wearable Narratives exhibition will open with a parade showcasing Kerr’s extraordinary wearable art.

Known for innovative approaches to dyeing and screening processes, Kerr integrates a love of colour, mark-making and spontaneity with the challenge of creating one-of-a-kind silk fabrics and art wear.

Kerr’s history as a fibre artist has been marked by constant experimentation with, and innovative approaches to, dyeing and screening processes. She has produced a DVD on Deconstructed Screen Printing, a mono-printing technique allowing for a more intuitive approach to screen-printing.

A studio artist since 1976, Kerr is known for her whimsically elegant hand painted and screened silk fabrics and Art to Wear. Formerly head of Fibers at Peters Valley Craft Center in New Jersey, Kerr now maintains a studio in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.

She was the recipient of a 2014 Mississippi Arts Council Fellowship and New Jersey Council on the Arts Fellowship and is widely published, including Ornament, Surface Design Journal, Fiber Arts Design Book Sixand Silk Painting for Fashionand Fine Artand Textiles Now, DVD Adventures in Surface Design (DVD)and Deconstructed Screen Printing (DVD)

 “I have always sewn, so at some point it seemed perfectly logical to turn my drawings into clothing,” Kerr said. “Art school in Mississippi in the 70’s was about art, not craft, so for a while, I pretended that this ‘clothing’ I was creating was merely a means to an end, a way to support my daughter and myself. After a while I admitted my love of making art that others could literally wrap themselves up in. I am still at it after 38 years.”

New York Times reviewer Betty Freudenheim says, “Kerr Grabowski’s silk vests attain the delightful spontaneity of ink drawings on their linings, while the exterior fabrics, worked with special dyes, rival the rich, fluid hues of painted canvases.”

Of the Wearable Narratives exhibition Kerr writes:

True to the rich oral history of my Mississippi roots, my work begins as narrative. The life cycle of the garden, interactions between friends and lovers, mysterious items washing up on the beach; the thread that connects is my muse.

I have a garden and spend hours watching the flora and their accompanying fauna; monarch eggs on milkweed, tiny caterpillars eating, eating, creeping far through the grass to that special spot for morphing into a chrysalis, then emerging to begin again.

Creating Art to Wear allows the future wearer and myself to become a part of this amazing connecting thread of life. Some of the pieces in ‘Wearable Narratives’ capture the humorous bumbling of humans as we navigate life, others are inspired by the beauty and textures of the garden.  

The Wearable Narratives exhibition opens  with a fashion parade at 6- 8 pm 20 March until 13 April 2014.


20 Mar 2014 - 13 Apr 2014


All Day