Artist Marianne Lettieri's installation includes about 200 river rocks covered with crochet. Most of the doilies used for the coverings were found at local estate sales, a link to women's handwork of the past. Others were created in collaboration with contemporary fiber artist, Stefanie Fayard. More were fashioned as recently as June 2015, when a group of women, ages 13 to 94, gathered in Menlo Park to crochet together.
Said Lettieri, "I love that some of the experts in the group are younger women, which reflects a growing international interest in crochet as a medium for contemporary art. Throughout history, women have come together to share domestic tasks and conversation."
Lettieri’s exhibition, House/Work, includes six installations that explore traditional roles of women in the home, past feminist hierarchies, and what constitutes meaningful labor today. One of the artworks features a 19th century handmade cradle filled with 30 hand blown glass spheres set on the bed of crocheted river rocks.
"I am interested in artifacts and their associated memories that people discard, revealing shifts in ownership and cultural value systems. My mixed media constructions and art installations rely on spatial relationships and visual metaphors, such as objects of domesticity and manual labor, architectural fragments, and clothing to explore the temporality, mutability, and preoccupations of life."
Marianne Lettieri grew up on Cape Canaveral, Florida during the space race between the United States and Russia. Her house was located in a coastal marsh within sight of missile gantries. Contrasts such as startled egrets flying in front of a rocket trail, created in her a lasting appreciation for images that juxtapose the past with the present. After earning a BFA at University of Florida with majors in drawing and printmaking, she worked as a commercial artist and modern dancer, eventually relocating to Silicon Valley to pursue a career in marketing communications for the technology industry while continuing to develop her art skills. In 2013, she received an MFA in spatial arts at San Jose State University, and is currently in a four-year artist residency at the Cubberley Artist Studios in Palo Alto, California.
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