“Vox Stellarum,” or “Voice of the Stars,” textile artist Elin Noble’s response to an early 18th century copperplate engraving from the 1731 book “Physica Sacra” by Swiss natural scientist Johann Jakob Scheuchzer, continues at the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery on East Campus through Sept. 16. The exhibition reflects on the time before the Enlightenment period when ideas about the nature of beauty were evolving, and when conflicts between faith and scientific questioning arose.
Using hand dyeing and clamp-resist techniques, Noble has created a sensual environment in the Hillestad Gallery, one in which the interplay of light, shadow, transparency and cloth allude to the mystical dimensions of a natural world that science has yet to fully explain.
Noble is the award-winning author of “Dyes & Paints: A Hands-On Guide to Coloring Fabric.” She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fiber from the University of Washington, and over several decades has built an extensive portfolio of exhibitions, classes, lectures and television appearances. She lives and works in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
For the installation in the Hillestad Gallery, Noble worked with Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design faculty member Michael Burton to create a video projection that elaborates on the moire phenomenon visible to gallery visitors in the overlapping and movement of the many transparent silk panels that fill the gallery.
Writing in the Lincoln Journal Star on Aug. 14, L. Kent Wolgamott said: “A master of dyeing, Noble has a good idea of what patterns will emerge from the process. But there is still some chance, or accident, left in the process. The 23 panels, each made up of at least two, hang from ceiling to floor, smartly arranged by Noble … near walls and in broken lines and creating, on the east side of the gallery, a small room-like space where the viewer is surrounded by the wavering panels – looking forward at one and seeing multiples to each side. That makes for a captivating environment, a study in abstraction taken to a different, very fresh level by the moire effect.” He said “Vox Stellarum” would likely be on his list of the best Lincoln art exhibitions of 2016.”
Noble returns to the university Sept. 13 to lead a dyeing workshop under the auspices of the Nebraska Fiberarts Initiative. The workshop is Sept. 14-17 in the surface design studios of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design. Spaces are still available and any members of the university or public can register. More information and the online registration form are available here.
For more information, call the department at 402-472-2911 or visit the Hillestad Gallery website here.