Halifax diptych (Green Street) panel 01 2010 found fabric, jade, beads 18” x 18” Photo: Lawrence Cook

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13 May – 16 Jun 2011

In fragments Carl Stewart uses commercial textiles cut from discarded mattresses that he collected while visiting Halifax in the fall of 2010.

Carl Setwart has been collecting fabric from mattresses left at the curb on garbage day since 1996. All that is known about the fabric is where and when it was collected. This uncertain provenance invites the viewer to contemplate the history, real or imagined, of each piece of fabric.

Some fabrics have been left in the condition in which they were found while others have been embellished and decorated becoming glorifications of domestic situations and daily rituals.

Tensions arise because while these embellished fragments are extremely attractive for their decorative qualities they are at the same time repellent when we consider that they are made from the fabric of discarded mattresses that strangers have slept on, had sex on and perhaps even died on; this is compounded when the fragments are sewn together in a quilt, an object meant to cover the body and provide comfort. It is this relationship to and engagement of the body that drives the tension in the work.