Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries

Past Present: The Indigo Work of Rowland Ricketts

Academic Year: 
Sunday, September 12 to Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries opens the new academic year at Wright State University on Sunday, September 12 with an exhibition engulfing the gallery in installations of indigo-blue forms.

Past Present: the Indigo Works of Rowland Rickets, which runs October 10, will transform the gallery space into an experience of the art and history of indigo. Textile artist Rowland Ricketts has created a series of installations from hand-dyed indigo blue forms. Ricketts plants, harvests, dries, and composts the leaves that are fermented into the indigo dye himself. The documentation of the process, as well as indigo's historical and cultural meanings, is explored in his installations. Rickets transforms the traditional dyeing technique into contemporary art, with his installations turning the process and product into a sensual, tactile experience for the viewer.

"The metamorphosis of indigo into blue dye is a chemical process that borders on the magical," said the exhibition's curator, Lisa Morrisette, assistant professor of art and art history at Wright State. "Indigo dyeing is on the verge of becoming a lost art as the traditional process is replaced by synthetic blue dyes."

About the artist

Rickets became an indigo artist through the traditional Japanese educational process of apprenticeship, thus preserving the legacy of the past. Rickets worked for two years in Tokushima, Japan, as an apprentice learning traditional farming and dyeing techniques. After returning to the United States he earned a Master of Fine Arts at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Currently, he is assistant professor of textiles at the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Art at Indiana University in Bloomington.

On Sunday, September 12, Ricketts will be giving a free, public lecture in M252 Creative Arts Center at 2:30 p.m., with a reception to follow until 5:30 p.m. The exhibition is supported by the Friends of the Galleries and the Ohio Arts Council


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