Rio Wrenn

From Portland, Oregon, USA

Website @ 
Blog @ Rusted
Fashion @ Raw Textiles
On Facebook @ Raw Textiles 
In the news @ Huff Post 

Rio earned a BFA in sculpture and a BA in Interdisciplinary Art in 2002, but began working with fibers, natural dyes and rusting while in school and though elements of three dimensions invades her work (as the example below proves) she basically abandoned traditional sculpture for work with textiles.  She has spent the last 12 years exploring rust as a medium and creating her wearable art business, RAW Textiles.   Her art and fashion work has been featured in more than 40 group, solo and fashion shows since 2001 and she has garnered a lot of press attention in the Northwest focused on her fashion work.   Her website features a portfolio of installations, mixed media, sculpture, silks and video stills of performance pieces.

Rio Wrenn
Dream Catcher, 2012, installation; silk, rust, vintage crochet blanket, string, stones

Note from Pat:  I first discovered Rio's work in an issue of Surface Design Journal several years ago.  But only recently have formed a personal connection with her.  We have discovered we are kindred spirits using direct object rust printing in our work.  Below you'll see examples of Rio's lingerie line Raw Textiles but she told me recently that a new body of art work she calls Core is underway which fits beautifully with our theme From the Inside Out.

Look closely at the what the model on the right is wearing. It happens to be printed from the grill of a 1939 Chevy shown in another incarnation below, flat on the wall.

Rio Wrenn, Kundalini Butterfly, 2011, silk, rust, natural dye

Rio's Artist statement:  

My rusting process is an expression of the ephemeral and the natural aging and decay of all things. Life cannot exist without the aging process: birth is eventually and inevitably followed by death. Though the process blurs over time, a record of the existence of things past is contained in the earth. It is in this record where my work begins.

Using natural processes, I hasten the rusting and oxidation of the mundane tools, objects and industrial metal pieces common to people's daily lives, by creating a physical record of their decay in silk and other fine fabrics. Metaphors for the fragile skin of all things living, the silks bear a record of life itself.

In the soils of their former inhabitants the detritus and castoff objects of life slowly decay and dissolve into the earth. They are my treasures. The buried iron and copper, the plants and insects decay and create the colors that bleed and stain the silks. Time sets the colors produced by heat and decomposition.

The objects of human existence lie in the soil's strata and integrate humans and the earth. Like all of the objects of our existence we too are eventually interred. Ancient rituals and practices were founded in the wonder and awe of this reality. Thus, the act of creation has always been a sacred ritual unto itself.

Creating is telling a story. The creator is the shaman, the spider and the artist.

Rio Wrenn, Pre-soiled Tarts 

Rio's blog offers a wealth of information about her fashion and her art.  Lots of pictures and text which gives the reader insight into her motivation and her inspiration.  

Rio Wrenn, Order, 2010, silk, rust natural dye, 18x18"

Rio Wrenn, Saturation, installation view, 2002-2004.  Black Skeleton and Skeleton, silk, rust, tannin, patina  

Rio Wrenn, Anahata (Heart Chakra), 2006, silk, rust, patina, (one of seven chakras) 15x15"

Rio Wrenn, Inventory, 2010, silk, rust, patina, stainless steel, 70' x 24"

This huge piece was part of a solo show called Collections which was comprised of rusted silks printed with objects donated by friends of Rio’s who had moved into a house whose former occupants had left behind a huge assortment of bits, bolts, washers and things a mechanic would use.  Rio lovingly cataloged all the cans and wood boxes filled with with the assortment of rusted objects.  Inventory turned into her list, or receipt of goods.   

Rio Wrenn, Sacred Geometry, 2008, three silk panels, rust, 8'x8'

Images and statement courtesy the artist.  Work shown here will not necessarily be exhibited in FTIO.

No comments:

Post a Comment