Leedy-Voulkos Art Center / 2019


Following closely on an exhibition of sculpture, the artist returns to the textile by utilizing the sewing machine as a drawing tool. In PORTAL, Gardner-Roe infuses her method of lace making with a notable addition. Trapped between the threads is a thin layer of hand-dyed wool from the Gardner farm. Following many hundreds of hours of sewing, the resultant riotous color celebrates both beauty and decay and creates a portal into the artist’s memories of a rural upbringing.

This melding of historical handcraft, contemporary textile practice, and Midwestern regionalism will change over time as new elements are added each week, allowing these “memory portals” to change, grow and spread. Acknowledging memory’s mutability, the viewer’s memory of the work may differ from others, as it will be determined by when in time the work is experienced.