Friday, April 30, 2010

Michael Radyk included in ART: Healing Lives. Joan Mondale Gallery. Minneapolis, MN


ART: Healing Lives is an international, juried exhibition associated with an Arts and Health Community Celebration hosted by the Midwest Arts in Healthcare Network (MAIHN).Textile Center's Joan Mondale Gallery in partnership with the Society for the Arts in Healthcare presents ART: Healing Lives from April 28 – May 22, 2010.


This compelling exhibition showcases mixed-media fiber works from artists who have transcended health related hardships through the healing powers of art. Laborious and often painful, yet meditative and ultimately regenerating, the work of these twenty-six artists serves as a spirit of hope to those traveling a similar road.

Opening Reception: Friday, April 30 from 6–8pm


Shipwrecked Sailor Series #2
72” h x 66” w

Wall piece made of handwoven silk and cotton fabric, sewn, pieced and hand embroidered with mohair, silk yarn and hand-dyed silk ribbon.

Inspired by the short story “The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I wanted to create the balance of possibility and fatalism which I was feeling as well as the theme in his writing.


Blue Peninsula
76” h x 66” w

Wall piece made of handwoven silk and cotton fabric, sewn, pieced and embroidered with mohair, silk yarn and hand-dyed silk ribbon.

This wall piece was inspired by the calming and ecstatic images of water and an Emily Dickinson poem of which Joseph Cornell inspired one of his boxes.


Artist Statement for Art: Healing Lives

The embroidered symbols I used in those pieces were inspired by my experience and recovery from a traumatic injury that nearly severed my right arm. Using the oddly X-shaped scar on my forearm as the starting point, I slowly developed the symbols and surface embroidery in conjunction with the regeneration of the nerves, tendons, arteries and inner workings of my arm. The injury to my arm was the biggest challenge I have faced, both physically and artistically. While having three surgeries and many months of physical therapy and encouragement from my hand therapist I found myself trying to understand and explain the injury, rehabilitation and disability in visual terms.

My work and weavings evolve spontaneously, as I explore the unlimited possibilities of color, pattern and texture through the deconstruction and reassembly of symmetrical lines. In musical terms, I think of those weavings as a raga, a traditional pattern of rising and falling notes in Hindu classical composition around which creative improvisations can dance and play. In this approach there is a feeling of passing through a visual barrier that encompasses and expands the sensation of seeing, sound, rhythm and meaning, which is another element in my current work.
After weaving many yards of the fabric, all my preconceived ideas of color, texture and material began to fall away and I started to make connections with textiles that inhabit a sense of depth. The woven fabric began to function less as pattern and began instead to serve embroidered motifs, in the foreground, increasing the levels of distance and space. . The process of using the handwoven cloth as a kind of “found” canvas is what moved my series of 10 wall pieces titled “05/05/05” into a rediscovery of what can occur on the surface. I remember being shocked by how the cloth was able to merge and meld together the elements of color and texture.

As an artist I wanted to find a way to represent a simultaneous lack of sensation and painful regeneration, as well as the, electrical rejuvenation and constant energy shifts of recovery. The ten wall hangings I completed after my injury have an ecstatic and illuminated quality that provides a window into my experience. The embroidered images and symbols I employ acknowledge both my personal history and my investigation into the slow spill of time, memory and space.