“…and After

"an Exhibition of Reminiscence”

by fibre artist

Bette Levy

opens on October 26, 2017 at PYRO Gallery’s new location, 1006 Washington Street, and lasts through December 9.

An opening reception will take place on October 27 from 6-9 PM, with a gallery talk on Saturday, October 28, at 10 am.

The gallery is open Thursday through Saturday from 12 noon to 6 PM, until 9 PM on First Fridays, and by special appointment with the artist.

 

The word reminiscence has been described as “a past event remembered by the narrator, consisting of memories, recollections, reflections, and remembrances”.  Occupying three rooms in the new gallery space, “…and After…” traces the 25-year span of a loving relationship, the experience of a fatal diagnosis, and life after the death of a beloved spouse. As a former art therapist, Levy has always used her creative work as a conduit to her inner experiences, as a release for a variety of emotions, and as a form of contemplation and meditation – this exhibition reflects an accurate and dynamic portrayal of Levy’s journey.

 

In the main gallery, Levy traces the beginnings and development of the relationship with her future husband, Robert Acland, as well as the many trips they took overseas and to their Laconia, Indiana, creek house.  This portion of the exhibition consists of the meticulous hand embroidery on black silk for which Levy is best known.  Based on her photographs of locations or elements in nature, the work is abstract, finely detailed, and employs Levy’s personal language of stitches.  Following her husband’s diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma in late 2014, Levy’s artwork took a dramatic turn.  Because their lives focused on his treatment, Levy produced less work, turned away from stitching, and used crochet and pig gut exclusively as mediums.  The work that was produced was a reaction to the reality of her husband’s illness, and their shared inability to affect the outcome. Since her husband’s death in 2016, Levy has used her art as a means to process the reality of his loss and a way to try to navigate life without him. The work has become larger in scale and seems to convey more universal and less personal themes.  This is the way for Levy to demonstrate her perseverance, her staunch confronting of the reality of loss, and her re-emergence into the living world.