Ismini Samanidou | Topography: recording place – mapping surface

January 18, 2013 – March 1, 2013


Ismini Samanidou

Artist's Reception: Friday, January 18 5-7pm

Textile artist and designer Ismini Samanidou seeks to understand her encounters with beauty through crafting woven surfaces and installations. Utilizing both mechanical jacquard looms and hand weaving techniques, her creative process becomes a way to document her own story. She often photographs her travels and reinterprets them with thread. Themes of transience, decay, and history emerge through her poetic textiles.

This retrospective marks a defining moment in the trajectory of Samanidou’s career, showcasing a selection of works from the past decade of her artistic production – since her graduation from the Royal College of Art, London in 2003.  The exhibition can be divided roughly into five sections:  surface, nature, air, water and clouds. Her most recent work, the Cloud series, investigates an alternative type of landscape which is universally shared but constantly shifting. Capturing the personal experience of such a transient subject is no easy feat, but Samanidou approaches it with a meticulous and scientifically-minded method that is reflected in her textiles.

Process is an integral part of Samanidou’s work and is represented through the display of her photographs, mood boards, samples, and studies alongside finished pieces. The result is not only a meditation on translation, but also a testament to the intricate detail, skill, and consideration involved in Samanidou’s craft practice. So strikingly and carefully wrought, these fragments become vehicles of beauty in and of themselves.

Another technique Samanidou makes use of is collaboration. Examples of her work with product designer Gary Allson and ceramicist Sharon Blakey are also on display here. These partnerships with other artists and designers often address the nature of weaving itself, exploring various creative and material approaches to weave patterns, for example.

Each of Samanidou’s experiences correlates with a physical time and place, but is mapped through the graceful threads, muted colors, and delicate patterns meticulously constructed in each work. Her topographies not only chart the visible surfaces and features of her embodied experience, but also reflect an emotional dimension of narrative, and, indeed, a connection with the past.

Public Lecture: Wednesday, January 16, 5:30 pm

This exhibition is a partnership project between The Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts and The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, University of North Carolina Asheville. The show was curated by Katie A Lee, Assistant Director of The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design from 2008-2012. A catalog to accompany the exhibition is published by the Crafts Study Centre.

 This program received support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources; administered by the Arts Council of  Henderson County.


Artspace Survey Launch: Counting Asheville Artists & Creatives for Affordable Housing Solutions

The Center for Craft and Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the launch of a comprehensive community outreach campaign and survey to quantify affordable housing and space options for Asheville’s artists, makers, performers and creatives. The Arts Market Survey, with a tagline of “Keep Asheville Creative,” is the next step to addressing community need as part of a bigger project to develop live/work, mixed-use-model development for the creative sector in Asheville.


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