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Sarasota Art Museum Debuts Exhibition by Jamaica-based Artist Katrina Coombs

[SARASOTA, FL] – Sarasota Art Museum presents I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure, the first U.S. solo museum exhibition of Jamaica-based textile and fiber artist Katrina Coombs, open May 22 – October 2, 2022. Co-organized with the Miami-based Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI), this exhibition will feature 12 fiber artworks. Including large-scale installations and intimate sculptures that reference the artist’s personal experiences.  As well as experiences of other maternal figures in her life.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to present Katrina Coombs’ dynamic, multifaceted work at Sarasota Art Museum.” said Virginia Shearer, executive director of Sarasota Art Museum. “The themes of womanhood and the search for identity in her work align strongly with our commitment to celebrating diverse perspectives in Sarasota Art Museum’s exhibition program. We look forward to offering our audiences a chance to experience Coombs’ creative genius.”

On view in the Museum’s John & Charlotte Suhler Gallery from May 22 – October 2, 2022, I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure illuminates the range of fiber arts techniques Coombs uses in her practice, including the laborious technique of finger-knitting the works with various fiber materials. Coombs’ works are inspired and guided by a quest to deepen the spiritual, emotional, and psychological understanding of the numerous conflicting roles that have been attributed to women in contemporary society.

Katrina Coombs mixed fibers
Katrina Coombs, Oshun’s Glory (detail), 2020, Finger-knitted mixed fibers, dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Artists use of Medium

While the use of fiber is central to her work, Coombs skillfully weaves and stitches cowrie shells, amethyst stone, mirror, and beads into tactile and large-scale forms. These non-fiber elements are used to communicate conceptual ideas of identity, the maternal figure, wealth, ancestry, and security.

“The 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,” said Guest Curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace. “Each piece in this exhibition makes a contribution 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.”

The works in this exhibition span over a range of time (2015-2020).  Referencing a number of the artist’s personal experiences, as well as experiences of other maternal figures in her life. Coombs’ work communicates a 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.

Katrina Coombs
Katina Coombs

“My work is governed and guided by my emotions.  As I attempt to understand and search for the woman that I am. Each artwork represents a part of me that is hidden from myself and others. They embody my hidden voice….The artworks I create depict my experiences with birth, death, love, heartbreak, corruption, entrapment, destruction, joy, happiness, and freedom.” – Katrina Coombs

Related Programs:

  • Artist Talk: Katrina Coombs and Rosie Gordon-Wallace
    Saturday, May 21, 2022
    1 pm
    Free for members, $20 not-yet members
    Location: Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium

Join Sarasota Art Museum for a special conversation with featured artist Katrina Coombs and Guest Curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace. The two will discuss Coombs’ new exhibition, I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure. The talk will explore the various techniques Coombs uses to realize her fiber creations.  As well as the relationship of the works to women’s roles in contemporary society.

  • Curator Talk: Emory Conetta
    Thursday, June 9, 2022
    6 pm
    Free for members, $20 not-yet members
    Location: Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium
    Get an introduction to Sarasota Art Museum’s newest exhibitions, Daniel Lind-Ramos: Las Tres Marías and I M(O)ther:Threads of the Maternal Figure from Assistant Curator Emory Conetta.

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