Members’ Gallery: June 2012

Susan Lenz || Building in Stitches

Fiber Architecture: Buildings in Stitches is a solo show by Susan Lenz of Columbia, South Carolina opening at the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts on Wednesday, May 30th. The exhibition will include over twenty works depicting Lenz’s fascination with both the facades and details found in homes, churches, corporate structures and historic buildings.

Architecture is a natural inspiration for Lenz who travels widely and has a degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Many of her works have a distinctively Gothic feel. Others focus on Victorian ornamentation. Some are multi-colored, abstract designs in respond to the buildings of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, a 20th century Austrian architect. "Hundertwasser's buildings celebrate individualism. He advocated for more human structures that reflect the diversity of those living inside. Bright colors, undulating floors, environmental friendly roofs, and the incorporation of broken tiles set his buildings uniquely apart," says Lenz.

While the subject matter is inspired by architecture, Lenz's creative process is also very much like a building's construction. She starts with layers and layers of polyester stretch velvet built on top of one another. Heat activated adhesives fuse the layers. Free motion machine embroidery fastens the pieces. A soldering iron and heat gun melt some of the tactile surfaces. Each work is literally constructed, and the building material is simply fabric.