Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mass Appeal: Matt Weaver at Plenum Space Gallery.

The word "mass" has all sorts of connotations, pretty much none of them playful and/or sensual.

Capitalized, it's celebrated with solemn liturgy. Reduced to its first letter, it's the stuff of dry physics. And if an X-ray reveals a mass anywhere one is not supposed to be ... well, that's about as far from good as one can get.

Funny thing about realities, though: They have ways of both conforming to and transcending connotations at the same time.

Crocheted Mass, Matt Weaver's current fibers show at Plenum Space Gallery in the East Crossroads, follows the (pardon the pun) thread of mass as solidity, substance and the occupation of physical space. Weaver's creations, many of them executed on a large scale, have a knotty heft that goes well beyond the common perception of the crocheted form.


This is also where the sensual aspect comes in. With the piece above, and several others, signs invite gallery-goers to "Fondle gently." (Try it. It's not just fun; it opens up new dimensions to the show.)

I often find myself wanting to literally crawl into bed with my creations, writes Weaver, whose work is viewable by appointment until Jan. 27. A perversion of the arts. Finding solace from the world of the living within the world of my inanimate crocheted lovers. My relationship to my work, and probably I imagine other artists to their works, it that of lovers in all senses, needs and wants. Initially I try to create more manageable portioned work but desiring a more tangible relationship guided by proximity I end up dealing out human size comparable pieces. I find completion in creating fewer but larger pieces.I am inspired through crochet to create masses, instead of inherent textiles that revolve around the act of covering.  

That act of creation hearkens back to that first-mentioned connotation of "mass" ... or, rather, "Mass." It's not hard to draw links between fingers working rosary beads, say, and the repetitive, near-ritual act of crocheting.  Both occupy the hands to free the mind and the spirit to make inward explorations. Given Weaver's invitation to handle his works, it's entirely possible for a viewer/toucher to enter the same sort of meditative space.

Weaver's work, one might say, ties all three of  the basic human aspects -- brain, body and heart -- together into a finished result which invites contemplation with more than the eyes.

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