A single thread out of place can distort the illusion of perfect embroidery or reduce the perception of the quality of a smooth hand of fabric. Its free movement against the whole piece becomes a threat (the threatening thread) to strict notions of perfection and unity. Douglas Dale offers us several loose threads in this collection of their latest work. Each of their sculptures and shadowboxes contains the spectrum between rigidity and looseness as an invitation to reflect on other polarities enforced by society: roughness and tenderness, normativity and queerness, masculine and feminine. With their distinctive use of yarn glued to wood, Dale brings domestic and imagined landscapes made by carefully contouring surfaces line by line to the Millstone Gallery.
The exhibition is a selection of the series Grain, where Dale uses yarn to trace the natural grain of found wood. The nine shadowboxes displayed on the walls embody the artists’ exploration of space and colors. Each box references a city, region, or geographic location whose iconography stretches beyond just land formations. These pieces recreate a cartography of unexplored life paths where “landscape” is not only the formation of mountain ranges, rivers, coastlines, and building facades but also memories and multiple perceptions, inspirational artworks, a tattoo silhouette and a sonogram. Checkpoint and Chairs reveal the sculptural facet of Dale. By using a material celebrated for its softness to create solid structures, the pieces echo intimate and public discussions on social structures and the exploration and growth that has been stifled by rigid pathways. The artist asks us: What medical options have been lost by discounting intersex and gender nonconforming patients? What relationships were discouraged by a monogamous social infrastructure? How do we evolve “queerness” beyond a systematic failure to include us all, and what do we build in its place?
Member Reception | JAN 26 | 5:30PM
Opening Reception | JAN 26 | 6:00–8:00PM