THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE DECEMBER 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE
On display at Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Co. is Fabric and Fibers, a solo exhibition featuring a series of quilted works by fiber artist Claudia Mirzaali. In this body of work, Mirzaali utilizes the vibrant colors and textures of fabric and fibers, often incorporating found natural objects, to create naturescapes that are inspired by the scenic environment of Long Island.
Mirzaali is inspired by the natural, local, and familiar, which are always in a constant state of change. As the seasons change so do the colors of the leaves from a vibrant green to an auburn red, as they slowly fall off the trees only to be reborn anew in a continual rhythmic system. The color patterning of Mirzaali’s artwork often evokes the seasonal changes or natural landscapes of her subject matter. Exemplary of this is Memories of an Autumn Day, which is a fanciful patchwork of reds, yellows and oranges that are mixed with a varying degree of greens, browns and blues. The blue patterning near the top of the composition is representative of the vivacious blue sky that one can find on any given fall day while the greens and browns near the lower third of the composition is representative of the grass and earth. In between these two sections, the artist fills the composition with a splendid mixture of reds, oranges, and yellows, which is indicative of the stunning autumn sunlight that reflects off of the changing tree leaves. Stitched over this patchwork arrangement, the artist sews in a stemming swirl of curves, which appears to be reminiscent of the veins of a leaf. Upon seeing the work, the viewer can feel the seasonal changes that the artist is expressing through her patchwork imagery.
In addition to her fabric and fibers, the artist incorporates found natural objects to further enhance the notion of representation. One such example of this is My Little Slice of Paradise, which is a seascape that could be representative of either Long Island’s South Shore, Sound of the North Shore, East End or the North Fork. In the piece, the artist uses light blue fabrics near the top of the composition to signify the sky and dark blue fabrics, mixed with lighter blues and whites, to signify the crashing and receding waves that wash up upon the shore. In the bottom right hand corner, on an inclined angle, is the beach, which is peppered with small seashells that adds to the overall texture of the piece. Upon viewing the work, one is transported to a warmer climate and to a more serene state of mind.
Claudia Mirzaali is a quilter and fiber artist from Patchogue, NY. She received a B.S. Ed. and a M.S. Ed. in Art Education from Buffalo State College in 1980 and 1982 respectively, and currently manages photography at St. Joseph’s College. Her artwork focuses on capturing the visual elements of color, contrast, and texture through fibers, fabric, and other materials. She is fascinated by the scenic nature of Long Island, often incorporating her surroundings into her artwork to create textual naturescapes. Mirzaali’s artwork has been exhibited locally at the Patchogue Arts Gallery, Islip Art Museum, ArtSpace and the Board Room Gallery at St. Joseph’s College.
The Patchogue Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 2008 to promote, encourage, and support the arts on the greater south shore of the Town of Brookhaven. The Patchogue Arts Council and Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Company created the PAC Members Gallery at Roast in the summer of 2013 as an alternative exhibition venue where PAC members can exhibit their artwork. In addition to exhibiting artwork and brewing award-winning coffee, Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Co. hosts weekly open mic nights on Fridays and a monthly poetry night on the first Saturday of every month.
Fabric and Fibers: Quilted Works by Claudia Mirzaali is on display at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co. now through January 9, 2017. An opening reception for the exhibition is scheduled for Sunday, December 11, from 2 – 4 P.M. The reception is free and open to the public.
All images are courtesy of the artist
© Claudia Mirzaali