Flux Factory presents an exhibition of works by two current Artists-in-Residence, Amir Badawi and María Lulu Varona. Each uses colorful embroidery thread to arrive at radically different ends. A quiet medium, both in its delicacy and in the time it takes to produce an object from tiny strands, it is a material that encourages deep looking.
Puerto Rican artist, María Lulu Varona works with a cross-stitch technique to produce short narratives, done in an 8-bit style referencing classic video games and comic strips. Made of cotton thread and Aida cloth, each work is made up of between three and 23 frames and is presented as a scroll, table cloth or on clothes.
Varona employs a sensitive curiosity to address themes of becoming, transformation and human relations with our environment. She sees space and color are her main instruments for story telling; color as character and essence. These are works of love, and in the meditative silent process of making them, she finds comfort to think, feel and envision possible futures.
Amir Badawi‘s work on the other hand uses the language of abstraction to elicit contemplation and play; referencing the aesthetic lineage of Lee Bontecou, Ernesto Neto, Senga Nengudi, and Roberto Matta. Made of thin metal wire and rods, meticulously wrapped with cotton thread, Badawi’s compositions are slight and airy, and often seem to float against a white background. Playing with negative space, and by using directed lights, the sculptures make shadows that extend and double the compositions, which shift and change as the viewer moves through the gallery.
Badawi takes inspiration from nature, mathematics, and the background noise of every day life. His artistic process is driven by improvisation and non-verbal thinking, allowing an exploration of material to weave together with trains-of-thought to produce otherworldly skeletons, plants, micro-organisms and other tendrils of imagination.