Seamless Belonging

July 1, 2015 - July 27, 2015
Callan Contemporary
New Orleans
Installations, Solo Exhibitions
In June of 2015, artist Teresa Cole presented her forth solo exhibition at Callan Contemporary Gallery in New Orleans, LA, entitled Seamless Belonging . The exhibition included 17 new works of paper made at Dieu Donné and two installations created while on sabbatical inspired by travels to Japan.
“Language is the inherent but ultimately partial material of our lived experience. Every traveler knows this, but is reminded afresh when confronted with a dialect beyond her own understanding. In an absence of linguistic comprehension,  traveler moves through foreign lands composed entirely of sight, sound, and scent in a physicality of knowing made manifest through an incapacity for words.
Seamless Belonging, an exhibition by New Orleans-based artist Teresa Cole, explores this phenomenon through installation projects as well as ongoing contributions to this internationally respected artist’s growing body of work in handmade paper. Cole, a full professor of printmaking in the art department of Tulane University, has for several years made pattern a subject of her sustained  South Africa, Belgium, India, and most recently Japan, where the artist explored traditional papermaking techniques at the Awagami Factory.
Seep, Cole’s large-format installation piece, represents not only a culmination of this immersion in a traditional Japanese craft, but explores indigo dye as tool of mark making and meaning: “My investigation of traditional handicrafts and the impeccable skill in which they are executed exposed me to a grammar of  care, expertise, and perfection,” Cole writes “The repetition of an activity until it is second nature but never taken for granted, until it is expected yet novel each time: a meditation, a prayer and a practice all at once.” Cole’s description of her process could just as easily be applied to the adoption of a new language, a reality that lies at the core of her practice. The patterns, materials, techniques and methods that compose each of her works – in paper, in dye, in ink – function as a visual grammar for the artist, who endlessly recombines her materials to form the utterance of the outsider with the introspection of the solo traveler.  The very task of language” Barthes tells us, is to give one and the same phrase inflections which will be forever new.”

 These inflections are further developed in Cole’s handmade paper pieces, which draw from her extensive catalogue of collected and manipulated patterns, a language the artist has consistently added to for years. Created at the Dieu Donné papermaking studio in New York City, each work combines pigmented cotton and abaca pulps to extract a unique image from a larger field, crafting an occasion for deep scrutiny and meditation on meaning. The intimacy, transparency and controlled elegance of these works contrasts sharply with the measured intensity of Seep, creating a range of emotional resonances not unlike those of a stranger in a strange land.



Blacks and Pink Stripe, Handmade paper with linen and abaca, 36" x 26", 2015 (Private Collection)
Saturate, relief print on folded dyed paper w bamboo, 42" x 79", 2015
folded and dyed paper, relief printing  and bamboo
Birds and Bunnies, Black, Handmade paper with linen and abaca
Seep at Callan Contemporary, Seep installed at Callan Contemporary for Seamless Belonging
Installation view of Seamless Belonging
Birds and Bunnies, White, Handmade paper with cotton and abaca
Pink Velvet Pattern, Handmade paper with linen and abaca, 36" x 26", 2015 (Private Collection)
Black and Pink Hexagons, Handmade paper with linen and abaca, 36" x 26", 2015, private collection
Blue Webbing, Handmade paper with linen and abaca, 36" x 26", 2015
Black webbing, Handmade paper with linen and abaca, 36" x 26", 2015
Black Hexagons, Handmade paper with linen and abaca, 36" x 26", 2015
Black and Pink Webbing, Handmade paper with cotton, linen and abaca, 36" x 26", 2015
White Wavy Weave, Handmade paper with cotton and abaca, 36" x 26", 2015