On The Line

by Mem U

Gallery One
November 4
- November 26, 2021

Take the online virtual tour here.

Mem U presents a charming and thought provoking instillation created through her unique printing technique. Mem is able to create impressions from salvaged metals from the Columbia River using a process she has spent the past 30 years perfecting. Strolling through these display of printed silks will give you the chance to reflect on the objects that have left an indelible ‘stain’ upon the land, our progress and our relationships from another time.

“On The Line” is a series of rust transfer pieces on fabrics. The use of rust as a printing/dyeing technique first began as an experiment while I was working in a metal shop in the late 1990s. The process started by using modern steel products such as gratings, checker plate and ma chine parts printed onto white silk. The process of ‘aging’ new material and preserving its  shadow placed the current object into the past and thus opened up a reflective/archeological  aspect of the object.  

The current show “On The Line” is using vintage or antiquated metal objects retrieved from the Columbia River historical garbage dump used from 1950-1970s. Discarded common objects from another time period are pressed and given a new context. The intent is for the viewer to  contemplate how the commonly used objects have altered our past, present and future. Many of the objects used have left an indelible ‘stain’ upon the land, our progress, and our relationships.  

The designs are intended to feel archeological yet contemporary in the images referencing  modern issues facing Western civilization. Issues include resource use, agriculture, ecological impact and conflict/war. Space colonization, our final frontier, as depicted in ‘Small Blue Ball’, references the renewed tension between thirst for new exploration/colonization, and us doing  the difficult work of making our blue ball better. 

  • Mem U
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