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May 18 through July 6, 2024

Opening and Artist Reception
Saturday, May 18, 6pm - 8pm

Artist Talk
Friday May 24, 7pm
HD South Neely Room
Gallery 4 at HD South
10 South Gilbert Road, Gilbert, AZ, 85296

Exhibitions, Gallery 4, Featured

Split: Threads of Fracture and Connection – Susan Allred

Each of us experience moments of fracture, division, and separation. These “splits,” whether they’re physical, emotional or societal, profoundly shape our perspective. In this fiber arts exhibition, Susan Allred uses the traditional crafting of quilting to create sculptural forms that explore the nature of splits and the ways they can challenge and transform us.

In the past, quilting was a social activity, gathering the women in a household—or often a neighborhood—together to do handwork while they chatted and rested from other family duties. Allred believes that her modern version of this craft celebrates this historical power of social connection and the resilience of the human spirit. With quiet contemplation of our moments of division, we can learn to navigate these experiences with greater empathy and wisdom.

About Susan Allred

I’m fascinated by fiber in all its forms. Each type is beautiful, strong, utilitarian, and versatile. Textiles fill my world and daily life, as they do for most people. Fibers’ ubiquity makes my chosen materials immediately familiar to viewers and draws them in for a closer look at my art work.

The natural properties of fiber-based materials let me use them as they are. And their malleability lets me modify them to get the effects I want. By applying the right techniques, I can transform plain material into color and pattern or coax the drape of cloth into structure or give a flat surface texture and dimension. 

I mix traditional tailoring and quilting techniques with my own style of needlecraft to make fiber sculptures. My experimental process lets me carefully craft new ways to coax fibers into the appearance and forms I want. This care is quietly expressed in each piece, and I believe that in their repose—or tension—they can provide respite and release for my viewers.

The results of these fiber experiments let me express my thoughts and feelings about society’s expectations for women and our bodies. My work deals with the offshoots of those expectations, as how from an early age, many young girls are encouraged to dream about and plan for the day they’ll marry and live “happily ever after.” I’ve explored what happens when women don’t feel safe in their daily lives and how external pressure from religious expectations can harm a marriage instead of supporting it. My most personal work reveals the lasting damage that the trauma of sexual assault can leave on the human body and soul.



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