ABODE: rachel duvall + ignacio perez meruane
Her work possesses a simple geometry and sensitivity to color and texture. Her weavings aren't just objects for the home -- they're covetable objets d'art. Deceptively simple in form; yet complex in execution -- each fiber she uses is always dyed by her own hand.
Rachel Duvall, an LA-Based textile artist caught my eye early last spring. I had stumbled upon her work via the endless rabbit hole that is t h e i n t e r n e t and have been meaning to put her on blast via the blog ever since.
Using osage, cochinel, and indigo to achieve a stunning variation in tint and tone, Duvall's wall-hangings are all truly unique. In addition to these tapestries and rugs, her passion for textiles has manifested itself in a beautiful range of ikat-print pillows and resist-dyed scarves.
After taking her work to West Coast Craft Fair in November, Duvall then high-tailed it up the coast to San Francisco this March for her own opening reception.Fabric of Space: Geometry as Muse runs until April 7th and if you're lucky enough to be in the 94110 zip, I encourage you to stop by 614 Alabama Street for an up-close peak at some of Duvall's work.
Ignacio Perez Meruane, DuVall's husband, is also an artist whose work centers around experiments with texture on walls as well -- although his of a slightly more conceptual bent. Juxtapositions in both beauty and banality, Meruane uses gypsum, plaster and construction-grade drywall techniques to create work with a compelling narrative. Recently, Meruane has published a book of his work. Titled Popcorn Orange Peel Knockdown, the tome was published by Gottlund Verlag in an extremely limited run of 100.
Meruane’s last exhibit was in Marfa, TX at the Michael Strogoff Gallery. His website cited the exhibit as being about 'locational identity as it relates to the increased mobility of people and materials.’ Huh. Heavy stuff. Either way, it looked like something I was sad I missed out on. Even more fun-- Meruane's work on display during the Los Angeles Art Book Fair this past January.
Another favorite from Meruane -- DHS Envelopes, a series of works, mounted on wallpaper of his own design, created to imitate the appearance of letters bearing information of the confidential sort. Clever. (Also of note: Rachel's Cobra Rock Boots in the following photo. I'd spot a pair of those babies anywhere. )
Rachel was obliging enough to share more details about herself and her work with me late last week. Double win! I thought the answers were too cute to not post in their entirety.
E I I Z A B E T H :HI Rachel! What is your average work day like? R A C H E L : Creating a weaving is a very long process so it all depends on what stage I am at. Some days that means getting up early to prep my dyes and other days I hunker down and weave as much as I can while blasting some Hank Williams or Dolly Parton .
E I I Z A B E T H : What's the best part about your home in California? R A C H E L: California has given so much inspiration to my work through the landscape, textures, and colors --especially since I’ve started exploring natural dyes more and more. I can't help but be inspired by places like Big Sur, Death Valley, and Sequoia National Park. Also you can't beat working outside in the sunshine -- all year long I get to enjoy working in my outdoor dye studio.
E I I Z A B E TH : Everyone has a favorite symbol or motif - what is yours? R A C H E L: I am drawn to very geometric motifs, which lend themselves perfectly to the grid created in weaving. The pyramid is a motif that has been in my work a lot recently.
E I I Z A B E T H: So, who keeps you motivated? R A C H E L: My husband is my greatest motivator, we are both artists and it is always so encouraging to work together on something (he helps me make my custom hangers for all of my wall pieces) and to be inspired by someone else's creative process. We are always working on new projects and I cannot think of a better person to bounce new ideas off of.
E I I Z A B E T H: What is your plan for 2014? R A C H E L : I plan to buckle down and just keep making tapestries and I would love to be able to expand my reach to show my work in new places!
E I I Z A B E T H : If you could take a month off and do anything where would you go? R A C H E L: Living in Los Angeles right now sometimes I just need to get as far from the city as I can. If I could I would take a month off and hole up in a cabin in Homer, Alaska (definitely in the summer). I would bring my husband, the National Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, and enough wool to keep me busy for a month.