The body has always been a subject of exploration for artists. But interior images of the body—the sorts of pictures that are routine to health care professionals—also offer possibilities for artistic expression.
This summer, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft features “A View Within,” an exhibition of textiles inspired by diagnostic images, on display through Sept. 3. The pieces were created by Karen Rips of Thousand Oaks, California and Paula Chung of Zephyr Cove, Nevada. Rips is a retired neonatal nurse, and both artists have spent decades quilting. Their fiber art pieces are based on MRIs, body scans, X-Rays, ultrasounds and sonograms.
“I was at the home of one of my dear friends, and I saw an MRI on her kitchen counter,” Chung said. “It was just so beautiful and striking, and I thought, I need to create something with that. And I was able to convince Karen to work with me.”
The artists use a variety of different textiles in their work. Rips makes her pieces from cotton and Chung uses layers of hand-dyed silk to coax her images to life.
“I think that as human beings we all experience our own health, and we can share those stories, and it is important to provide a platform or forum for those discussions,” said Kathryn Hall, curator of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. “We wanted the exhibit to present all different aspects of the body.”
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