Spanning interiors, wrapping trees and adorning facades, these big bright red doilies are somehow both conventional and ominous, somewhere between knit holiday sweaters and huge spider webs.
Created by Ashley V Blalock, this Keeping Up Appearances series was started over a half-decade ago and has made its way into various public spaces and museum galleries. They can really tie a room together, so to speak
The series is all about context and intentionally both “anachronistic and antagonistic,” explains the artist. “Although non-threatening in a domestic setting, in the gallery and at this scale, the forms overtake the viewer and loom menacingly. The doilies represent a certain desire to keep up the appearance of gentility expressed through the arrangement of objects in the domestic setting.”
She prefers “crochet, where every stitch is evidence of work by hand. Through her work, she explores themes of discomfort and the coping mechanisms used to provide solace from the stress and trauma of modern life.”
“Inherent is a compulsion to arrange and place and decorate in order to control or influence a perceived outward appearance. The red color gives away the futility of such an act and hints at the unease that exists behind every well-decorated home and lurks below the surface of an obsessive need to control and arrange.”