Image source: Susan Hensel Gallery
Sara Christensen Blair is a mixed media artist who is especially interested in the way that traditional craft processes, such as crochet, can be used in contemporary art. Her work came to my attention when I read an article about a women’s art exhibit that she participated in. The exhibit, called Through the Looking Glass, was about how the 32 artists see themselves and how they perceive themselves as seen by society. Blair’s work, a set of “resin bones clad in filet crochet” was singled out as one of the more somber pieces in the show.
More about crochet artist Sara Christensen Blair
Blair is a working artist who also teaches mixed media and design at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has a BA and a BFA as well as an MFA in mixed media, which she completed in 2004. Clearly passionate about learning she is known on her way to getting a PhD in Aesthetics, Philosophy and Art Theory. She has worked as a graphic designer so she brings a design background to her artwork. Her work has been exhibited in shows around the nation.
In 2008 Blair received a grant to “pursue additional research on craft processes in the contemporary art world” which has allowed her to take more time to expand her experience with crochet and other craft-based art. She enjoys exploring the roles of individuals in society and has an interest in femininity and gender roles so crochet art and craft art make sense as a medium for her work.
Examples of Blair’s crochet art
The above photo is a portion of a work called Tree Huggers, a 2008 fiber installation that was placed at the Adkins Arboretum in Maryland. I absolutely love this piece. I would like to do something similar in the form of yarnbombing somewhere in the city!
The above photo is a detail from a work called 24 months that was completed in 2007. As you can see it shows doilies that are built around empty birth control containers. What a big statement on femininity! She did a similar piece the year before called 19 months (that used 19 doilies instead of 24 in the final collection).
The above photo is a 2006 fiber piece titled “self-portrait”. Although it is cross-stitched fibers and not crochet, it’s a piece that I find really intriguing so I wanted to include it here.
The final photo is a 2006 fiber piece called cyclic. It is crochet work over pill bottles. She has done other pieces similar to this one but I love the color play of this particular piece.
Sara Christensen Blair around the web
- Blair’s website. I recommend checking out her artist statement.
- High Plains Reader. A review of a show she did with Greg Blair that feature her work with crochet-covered bones.
- Facebook page of the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (IDSVA). Blair has served as the associate editor of the IDSVA’s newsletter.