Featuring Shirley Binin
September 18 – October 30, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, September 25, 6 to 8 pm
Shirley Binin has been producing art in various mediums for over 50 years. Her most recent work includes figurative images using hand made paper and gouache, often including elements such as thread or string, built on a fabric base.
Shirley’s work is predominantly figurative. Many of her works are color studies in addition to being expressions of form and composition. The use of hand made paper pulp as a medium lends a very tactile quality to the images. This retrospective includes a cross section of her mediums, styles, subject matter and aesthetic.
About the Artist
Shirley lives in Stamford, Connecticut, and is a charter member of the Stamford Art Association and a member of the Loft Artists Association. She studied at the Art Students League, Silvermine Arts Center, and Southern Connecticut State University, where she achieved her Masters Degree in Arts Education.
Her work has shown at various galleries in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and in Southern Connecticut. This is her first gallery show in New Haven.
I’m very excited to be showing a retrospective of my work at the Creative Arts Workshop. The pieces in this show are mostly comprised of hand made paper and gouache, and the subjects are mostly human figures, along with several abstract compositions.
For years, I had concentrated on oil painting and later woodblock and silkscreen printing. It was actually an accident that I stumbled into Margaurta Orozco’s papermaking workshop in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. At the time, I was working in the medium of lithography, using a 19th century French press. Although the work was backbreaking, I derived a great deal of pleasure from processing and printing the stone plates.
One day I wandered into the adjoining workshop and observed the then mysterious art of making paper. I immediately recognized that hand-made paper opened up many new possibilities for the printmaker. Little did I know that the making of paper would soon become my medium of choice.
Mexican printmaking is primitive by American standards, since everything is hand-made: tools, screens, even the drying surfaces. Members of the workshop communally shared tasks such as sorting, chopping, washing, cooking and processing the pulp. I soon learned how to make use of old and new techniques, to express my particular subject matter, specifically “people”.
In my own studio, I continued to experiment. I often drew or painted on handmade papers and embedded them into wet pulp, forming new configurations of line, pattern, and brilliant color. I also dyed a variety of pulps, including linen, flax, cotton, and abaca, applying them in a way that one would use paint, expanding the expressive qualities through the addition of other materials. I further expanded use of media by applying wet pulp onto stretched fabric, extending my use of media in new directions.
To the basic, hand made paper, I may add paint, drawings or collaged materials, which I cut and re-assemble onto a poured pulp background. In other instances, an entire painting is created using the thick, dyed pulp as the medium itself.