The Barn has stood through many transitions, a space inherently rooted in the seasons since its first life as an early 1900s agricultural workshop. A changing of hands and times eventually brought the space to become an artist studio, and now gallery, ever-evolving in its creative display.
As we enter a new season in many ways, we’re celebrating movement and connection through craft at Exhibition The Barn. Curated by Elena Frampton, Body Language features site-specific, interactive installations and brings together the work of three female artists: Molly Findlay, Aliana Grace Bailey, and DZ Maciel.
The exhibition showcases textiles with works that encourage bombastic play, audacious movement, and the softness of connection anew. A vibrant, tactile expression of our humanity, exploring ideas surrounding the body, identity, and history.
Taking shape throughout The Barn are Molly Findlay’s Mrs. Noodle pillows. The seven oversized cushion ropes, each 20-foot-long, form giant knots, spirals, and twists. Friendly in form and inviting in their softness, they are designed for connectivity and interaction.
Findlay, a New York-based prop stylist and sculptor, gently subverts the everyday experience through her work, questioning how environments and objects can inform our behavior. “Can a sofa be an equalizer?,” she asks. “In work, is it possible to build a supportive community and encourage one another?”
Above the larger-than-life Noodles, a site-specific installation by Aliana Grace Bailey is gracefully suspended from the soaring ceiling heights. Composed of hand-dyed and loomed textiles, the installation brings together Saori weavings and crocheted ropes. Saori, a free and expressive style of weaving originating in Japan, is rooted in dignity and the acceptance of imperfection.
Bailey is a multi-hyphenate, socially-engaged artist and designer based between Baltimore and Washington DC. Through a series of investigations in materials and space, her work focuses on intimacy, “one of life’s greatest treasures and fears, an essential part of living, loving, and survival,” Bailey says. Her installation at The Barn is a visual representation of the physical movements and rituals involved in her work. She says, “In order to be my best self, I must be grounded in joy. I must do what heals me and allow it to take up space.”
The entire space is wrapped in the whimsical and poignant illustrations of Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist and choreographer DZ Maciel. Her visual concept facestudy has been presented in its latest site-specific iteration across the marigold curtain that wraps The Barn, a seasonal mainstay reinterpreted from Exhibition’s winter show.
Now presented for the first time as interactive, facestudy invites audiences to touch and manipulate the tapestry of faces and ideas “dancing” together in celebration of communion. With messages interspersed across the 125 yards of textile, the art work elicits wandering and dreaming of “summers before,” while conjuring joy as we think about the season upon us: the “summers after.”
Opening July 1st, Body Language is a celebration of communion, movement, and joy. We invite you to experience these trailblazing female artists’ imaginative and innovative works in the experimental – now entirely interactive – setting at The Barn. Schedule your visit through September 7th.