Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ann Hamilton: habitus

Happy 2017!

In celebration of the new year, I ventured to Philadelphia to catch Ann Hamilton's habitus at The Fabric Workshop before it closed on January 8.

Located across the street from the Philadelphia Convention Center, The Fabric Workshop is spread over several floors of an old brick building. The section of habitus located on the first floor displayed numerous works by Ann Hamilton. Those photos will be shared later.

This day, it was the section of the exhibition that had begun as an online project entitled, cloth • a commonplace on Tumblr caught my eye. Each page contains a quote that in some way pertains to cloth. Most that I read seemed to be from fictional books, but not all. Some were only one line while others were paragraphs. 

One quote per page.

Viewers were encouraged to take those that spoke to them - whether it be 1 or 5 or 30. How often are you given permission to take away a bit of an exhibition? Lifting that first page off the pegs felt a bit like stealing, but by the 5th page it felt right. I admit to taking more than 5...haven't counted them to find the total. I did purchase the whole collection from the gift shop and plan to read one a day when the rhythm of life allows time for being in the studio everyday.

Hanging quietly and unobtrusively above the rows of collected text were quilts. My memory is that the docent said the quilts belong to Ann Hamilton, but by then my creative mind was whirling so I cannot be sure that my memory is correct.

While pondering a just read quote, I happened to look up and into the quilt hanging above.

There were landscapes - cityscapes,

long stretches of flat land that eased into small rises,

mountains reflected in still lakes,


I'd love to be able to ask Ann Hamilton if leaving the fold lines in had been on purpose. Had she realized what one would be treated to if one only looked up while standing before the pages of text? Does her brain work that far ahead? I believe it does.

Too awed by the simplicity of these winding spools/wheels, my ears weren't listening as the docent talked about them.

My brain was elsewhere,



  1. Words + cloth = story

    Thank you for bringing this to us ...

  2. i loved seeing this through your eyes Jennifer. Thank you!

  3. Oh I love nearly everything about this Jennifer - I saw Ann's work in Portland OR in 2013 and was mesmerised. I think the give away quotes are just too beautiful for words; and then seeing the quilts with your eyes. You must have been spellbound; what a balm for the soul...and thank you thank you for sharing!

  4. One of my favourite artists - what a treat - thank you for sharing your adventure

  5. Hi JQ - so glad you were able to make the exhibition - looks of creative, quality but fun stuff - and a bonus to be able to take quotes away. The winding spools are fabulous. Thanks for sharing. Go well. B

  6. i would love to have seen this show. next time we meet i want to hear all about it!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...