Teresa Cole’s Transfer expo recycles Victorian-era trends into the globalized present. In Victorian England, the art of paper cutting became a domestic style obsession. Cutout paper silhouettes of family members and elaborate, highly stylized landscape scenes adorned fashionable parlors all over the English-speaking world. Meanwhile, fabrics stenciled with botanical patterns in the teeming, then-British colony of India found a popular following in the West, where they were rebranded with British-sounding names like “paisley.” These design elements, along with some other oddball twists, add up to a cryptically decorous lexicon of signs and symbols in this unusual show at Gallery Bienvenu. This is possible because familiar decorative motifs often have a secret history of their own. For instance, the popular paisley fabric pattern is based on the sacred Tree of Life symbol of the ancient Zoroastrian religion.
D. Eric Bookhardt, The Gambit Weekly (July 6, 2010) (New Orleans, LA)