Monday, September 6, 2010
While at Penland I stopped by the Penland Gallery and included in the group show currently on exhibit, All This Happened, More or Less, is the work of Stephanie Metz. I love this work! I love how Metz takes the notion of the teddy bear and asks us to reconsider the fantasy of this creature by putting it into physical terms. This is how we preserve "real" things like human and animal bodies, so why not the teddy bear?
The "specimens" are made from densely felted wool that is shaped into the bones or cadavers of a teddy bear. In one piece she shows the fetal development of the teddy bear. Illustrating a developing fetus can be risky, yet using the imaginary teddy bear makes it less real somehow, but still walks a very delicate line. Very, very good.
I also really enjoy her presentation of the work. In fact, her decision to present the teddy bear specimen in a glass jar filled with liquid is absolutely brilliant! I laughed out loud when I saw this, and the two other ladies in the room came over and had a little giggle too. Very well made and very smart. Thank you very much Stephanie. I know I've seen this work before, but didn't keep up on it. Well, I'm going to keep an eye on what you are up to now!
Stephanie also teaches classes on her felting which you can find on her website here, and images of her teddy bear fetus growth are on her ETSY page here.