Katrina Coombs

I M(O)THER: Threads of the Maternal Figure

Katrina Coombs' I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure

May 22 - October 2, 2022

I M(O)ther is a reference to several deliberately ambiguous maternal personalities that have been a part of Jamaica-based textile and fiber artist, Katrina Coombs’ understanding of her experiences, desires, passions, and role as a woman, and the relation of the maternal figure as an Other.

The twelve artworks in this exhibition invite us to enter a world of wonderfully constructed fiber forms, created over several years in response to a number of personal experiences, reflections, and observations. Each piece contributes to our collective appreciation of Coombs’ oeuvre, as well as of the range of visual possibilities that can be attained when working with natural and synthetic fibers.
While fibers are central to all pieces, Coombs skillfully incorporates cowrie shells, amethyst stone, mirror, and beads in select creations. These non-fiber elements are used to communicate conceptual ideas of identity, the maternal figure, wealth, ancestry, and security. Coombs communicates her range of ideas in pieces that are intended to physically envelope the viewer in some instances, and in other instances keep the viewer at a distance. Her use of colors indicates a desire to strategically stimulate our perceptions by providing us with tints and tones of reds, yellows, oranges, and cream.
Installation view of Katrina Coombs, "I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure" , Photo: Ryan Gamma
Installation view of Katrina Coombs, I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure

Photo: Ryan Gamma

Installation view of Katrina Coombs, "I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure" , Photo: Ryan Gamma
Katrina Coombs
Lost Souls Not Forgotten
2019
Woven merino wool and silk
Dimensions variable

Courtesy of the artist
Photo: Ryan Gamma

Though majority of her works are autobiographical, the experiences of other women and non-biological maternal figures are also significant in the structure and thinking that underpin her works. Like the ambiguous personalities that inspire the pieces on show, the artworks do not make definitive statements. However, they make clear suggestions that are intended to inspire questions, emotions, and commentary. It is perhaps best to appreciate each piece as both personal and communal reflections about maternal instincts, and female social expectations and emotional desires.

This exhibition is guest curated by Rosie Gordon-Wallace and co-organized by the Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) and Sarasota Art Museum.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Katrina Coombs

Katrina Coombs

Katrina Coombs was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica. She holds a BFA with Honours in Textiles and Fibre Arts (2008) and a Certificate in Curatorial Studies (2009) from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. In 2013, she obtained an MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute via The University of Plymouth. Coombs’ work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions in Kingston, Manila, Berlin, New York, Bogotá, Miami, Chicago, and Washington. She lives and works in St. Andrew, Jamaica.

HAPPENINGS

Katrina Coombs, Oshuns Glory, 2020
Katrina Coombs
Oshun’s Glory (detail)
2020
Finger-knitted mixed fibers
Dimensions variable

Courtesy of the artist
Photo: Katrina Coombs

ARTIST TALK

Katrina Coombs

Saturday, May 21

1 PM – 2 PM

Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium
FREE for ALL

Katrina Coombs will speak with Rosie Gordon-Wallace, exhibition guest curator, about her unique use of the fiber medium and the Museum’s new exhibition, I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure.

Join us for a free hands-on weaving activity following Katrina Coombs’ Artist Talk from 2pm-4pm where local teaching artist Elizabeth Goodwill will demonstrate finger weaving and fiber exploration.

Be one of the first visitors to experience I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure. Members receive early access before the program.

I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure opens to the public on May 22, 2022.