HEATHER UJIIE: TERRA INCOGNITA
Textile artist explores our relationship to the natural world
GLASSBORO, NJ – Heather Ujiie’s exhibition, Terra Incognita, opens the 2018-2019 season at Rowan University Art Gallery with a reception on Thursday, September 13 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. The artist’s work blend the disciplines of textiles, fashion design and visual art to create an ethereal, imaginary, and mythological world. The exhibit runs September 4 – November 17, 2018.
In her work, Ujiie builds upon the imagery found in Hieronymus Bosch’s painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights, and infuses it with her own vision inspired by botanical studies, living networks, sexual identities, and commonalities between living creatures. Much of what the artist is currently creating has evolved out of re-contextualizing historic printed cloth, and illuminated manuscript paintings from the Moghul Empire, to contemporary symbols of the feminine in global cultures.
Three mythological deities and animal hybrid forms – The Goddess, The Demon, and the Warrior – dominate the world created by the artist. Each of the textile installations and sculptural figures reveals the power of the female voice which can be at once loving and nurturing, while simultaneously conjuring mythologies around the femme fatale. Digitally-printed murals evoke narratives which question the human relationship to the fragile natural world, and the destruction of ecological systems, in our evolving planet.
The Coby Foundation, and The Joseph Roberts Foundation have provided support for this project. Additional support is also made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Heather Ujii grew up in NYC’s Greenwich Village, part of a family of artist educators, and believes her creativity comes from a lively bohemian childhood. Her installations have been exhibited at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Delaware Art Museum, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Racine Art Museum, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia International Airport, and the prestigious Wind Challenge Award Exhibition at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial Museum.
As a designer, she has more than 15 years of experience creating printed textiles for the high-end home furnishing and apparel markets. Her commercial designs have been used in such projects as decorating The White House private residence for President and Mrs. George W. Bush. Ujiie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Art from the State University of New York/New Paltz; an Art-Education K-12 degree from Brooklyn College; and an Associate’s Degree in Textile Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She is on the faculty of Moore College of Art & Design and has design experience for dance, theatre, and textiles.
The gallery is located at 301 High Street West. Free 2-hour public parking is available in the Mick Drive Parking Garage across the street from the gallery. Admission to the gallery, lecture, and reception is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday – Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Directions can be found on the gallery website. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit www.rowan.edu/artgallery.
Thank you to Mary Salvante for the content of this post.
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