03 September 2012

Elin Noble Marbling on Cloth exhibit

Colo Colo gallery,  New Bedford.
Elin Noble: A Grain of Sand, is the eponymous title of an exhibit of monoprints by Elin Noble, at the Colo Colo Gallery, 29 Centre St., New Bedford, from August 23 through September 9, 2012.  Elin is a member of my quilt guild,  and a wizard with dyes, paints and pigments.


The monoprints are created through marbling on cloth. Basically, water is thickened with a sizing to alter its surface tension. Various pigments are then floated on the surface; the pigments can be manipulated with various tools to make patterns. The patterns are then transferred to  paper or cloth  laid on top of the surface. 

The images have a lapidary quality, hence the English name for the technique, marbling. Marbled papers have been used for some time in fine hand book-binding; anyone who has used 19th century books may have noticed the marbled endpapers in the old volumes, such as the one below, which also has an antique bookplate.
Image source: http://www.squidoo.com/marbled-paper?utm_source=google&utm_medium=imgres&utm_campaign=framebuster
Grain of Sand quilt.
Many of Elin's prints remind me of fractal imagery, and have a "world within worlds" quality when scrutinized closely; the exhibit title Grain of Sand refers to a poem by William Blake, 19th century English writer and artist.

Grain of Sand print, detail. Click to enlarge.
To see the world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

         Stanza one, from Auguries of Innocence