Artist: Caryn Aasness
Exhibition: “To Call It Cute Is To Misunderstand”
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
About Caryn: Caryn is currently a senior pursuing her BFA in fiber art. She has been at CSULB for 4 and a half years. She has always been interested in textile and was interested in learning the different techniques of weaving. She started learning how to weave two years ago. As a child, her grandmother taught her how to embroider and sew but not how to weave.
Formal Analysis: The gallery was composed of different fiber textile pieces.The pieces were created with colorful yarn. The pieces were constructed in a type of coding and next to each weaving was a piece of paper to help decode the piece’s message. Some weavings had bright colors while others had dull colors.
Content Analysis: The messages encoded in the weavings were common phrases or comments she would frequently hear in elementary school. She was not a big fan of these phrases. The reason she had “To call it cute is to misunderstand” sewn on the weavings was to show how long of a process weaving is and how the hard work often goes unnoticed. For example, just to set up for the pieces took 10 hours. Caryn explained how tedious of a process it is to lay out all the yarn and position it in a way where it won’t get entangled. In total the whole thing took about 20 hours. Rather than have her work be admired for the “pretty colors” the artist should be appreciated and taken into consideration.
My experience: When I first saw the pieces, I thought “wow these are nice” and immediately felt bad thinking so when I saw the weaving with the giants words sewn on. Then I talked to Caryn and understood. I have always been fascinated by textile artists because I have always wondered how these artists could have so much patience and skill to create such beautiful pieces. I know the most intricate pieces could only be done by a human hand so I was amazed by every piece. Caryn had designed a formula to construct each piece in its own unique way and it was neat seeing it be brought to life in fiber. I really liked how instead of sewing words on she made a code to figure out the message. I’m always wondering about the human hand behind textile designs so it was nice to meet the one behind this gallery.