Friday, November 22, 2019

CASTING A NET Catches Jennifer Davies’ Fiber Works at City Gallery

City Gallery's new exhibit CASTING A NET catches a fascinating collection of Jennifer Davies' newest fiber works, on view from Friday, November 29 to Sunday, December 29. There will be an Opening Reception on Sunday, December 8 from 2-5PM, and an Artist Talk on Sunday, December 29 at 2PM.

The title CASTING A NET has both a concrete and an abstract meaning. Davies' work involves the literal casting of paper pulp into molds of tree bark and fungi, and she constructs pieces using a variety of materials including gauze, plastic bird netting, and handwoven nets. But Davies, a prolific local artist, regularly casts out her net figuratively to gather in new ideas and experiment with different ways to use paper pulp.

Though size and material are diverse in her work, handmade paper is a common element. She pigments the paper herself, and layers it as one would use paint, combining it with thread and fabric to make textured abstractions. She uses the netting or altered gauze, dipped into pigmented pulp, to make complex textiles. For her large pieces, some measuring upwards of 9 feet, she pours colored pulp onto a screen and uses a hose to spray it into a lace-like pattern.

“Informing the imagery of my work are the patterns in nature that I return to again and again,” Davies explains. “Celestial designs, the foam on a spent wave, or the richness of aerial photos, all find echoes in my work. Though I start with an initial idea or the memory of a natural form, I take my cues from the interaction of elements that I put together. The joy is found by being surprised and going down an unforeseen path.”

Davies’ inspired work was recently included in an exhibit entitled Water at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Art (Cedarburg, WI) and awarded Best in Show at the Surface Design Association’s exhibit Context: Language, Media, and Meaning at the Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton, MA). She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and the Rome Honors Program. She has studied and taught papermaking at Women’s Studio Workshop and Creative Arts Workshop, and has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows at museums and galleries including Hygienic Gallery (New London), Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Gatlinburg, TN), Artspace (New Haven), Center for Contemporary Printmaking (Norwalk), Hockaday Museum of Art (Kalispell, MT), Morgan Conservatory (Cleveland, OH), and the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking (Atlanta, GA). Her work is included in numerous corporate and private collections. She is a long-standing member of the City Galley.

CASTING A NET is free and open to the public. City Gallery is located at 994 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Gallery hours are Thursday - Sunday, 12 noon - 4pm or by appointment. Closed December 26. For further information please contact City Gallery,,