Artist fuses her life experiences and international travel

April 11, 2014 11:00 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

Tulane University professor Teresa Cole’s art fuses together her life experiences and international travel. 

Curling in on Itself by Teresa Cole

Curling in on Itself by Teresa Cole was inspired by Indian saris. (Photo from Teresa Cole)

In Curling in on Itself, viewers are invited into Cole’s 2010 journey to West Bengal, India, where she was an artist-in-residence with the Khoj Kolkata International Artist Residency.

“I had previously taught a workshop at a university in India, and I would see the students using old saris to clean up,” says Cole. “It was then that I decided to use saris in my work because I thought, ‘these are too beautiful to use as rags.’”

Prior to her arrival at the New Delhi International Airport on Jan. 1, 2010, Cole completed an assortment of relief prints on paper. 

She carefully carried the more than 300 6-inch-by-21-inch block prints in her carry-on bag for the 17-hour flight from Chicago to India.

In the city of Khoj Kolkata, Cole acquired multiple saris and began creating Curling. The process involved laying the saris on the floor, painting glue onto them and attaching the paper relief prints to the sari fabric.

The 40 or so different prints, backed in fabric, were then cut out, rolled at one end and punched with holes so that they could be hung from a gallery ceiling.

Cole says that her intent with Curling is “to examine the malleability of sensory knowledge through layering, enlarged marks and magnified views. Relationships are formed between abstraction and representation, the simple and the complex, confusion and order.”

Curling was one of two art installations that Cole created as part of a six-person exhibit at the Harrington Street Arts Centre in Kolkata. Since 2010, Curling has been exhibited in American galleries including Whitespace in Atlanta and the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans. 

Cole holds the Ellsworth Woodward Professorship in Art and chairs the Newcomb Art Department at Tulane.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000