Joseph Gallivan interviews textile artist Rio Wrenn about her show To The Core

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Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:30am to 12:00pm
Joseph Gallivan interviews textile artist Rio Wrenn about her show To The Core
On Tuesday November 25  at 11.30am Joseph Gallivan interviews the textile artist Rio Wrenn about her show "To The Core" which is on now at the Jupiter Hotel Gallery through January 20.  Wrenn uses the Japanese tie dye technique, using plants dyes and rust to make symmetrical marks on sheets of silk. She will talk about her studio methods, the concept of the core and the idea of energy flowing though living things.
From the press release:
Rio Wrenn is a native of Portland and graduated from the University of Washington in 2002 with a degree in sculpture. During her last year in school she discovered her voice and love for textiles; specifically rust printing and natural dyes. In her youth Wrenn began dancing in multiple disciplines and discovered the importance of movement as an expression for emotions. Simultaneously, she also learned about the cycle of life in her father’s garden planting, harvesting, and sharing. A long time interest in botany and dance is the foundation of her work.
In 2007, Rio started a fashion label “R A W”, in which she dyed and designed lingerie and various couture garments. This label runs parallel to her visual art and has garnered much attention in the fashion world.
Currently, Rio is an instructor for workshops demonstrating her techniques in rust printing. Wrenn’s work has been shown across the United States and published in various publications, including a book, “Surface Design for Fabric” by Kim Irwin, scheduled for release December 2014.
Artist Statement – Rio Wrenn
The core of our existence ties us to the earth. Every living thing is made up of cells that work together around a core. On the surface humans look and act different but under our skin we have cells that act the same, pumping and dividing. In nature we see patterns created by compression, time, heat, and survival. They are unique patterns yet they are created by the same means. This becomes a record of existence that tells the story of circumstance.
The process I use to extract color unto the silks are much the same as the creation of patterns in nature. My inspirations are trees, plants, stones, auras, mandalas, language, humans, science, and spirit.
“To The Core” is taking this basic knowledge of science and using visuals such as tree rings, microscopic views of plant parts, cell division, parasitic growths, and the metaphorical core of human nature to contemplate how similar we really are. How we shape the core and what we find at the core are the aspects I contemplate.
Over the last 14 years, I have devoted my focus to rust printing and natural dyes. Through this time I have developed my own techniques and processes in combination with traditional practices from Japan, India and Native American cultures. In dyeing my textiles, I use plants, insects, rust, trees, and berries. Many of the materials I grow and harvest in my own garden. This has become a way of life and a cyclic motion that moves with the earth's rotation.
Rio has been a classical Egyptian dancer for 20 years.  She mostly dances for sacred events or devotional dancing.  She makes her own costumes and veils and is currently working on a modern / performance piece that she hopes to debut at the TBA festival 2015.
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Joseph Gallivan has been a reporter since 1990. He has covered music for the London Independent, Technology for the New York Post, and arts and culture for the Portland Tribune. He is the author of two novels, "Oi, Ref!" and "England All Over" which are available on 
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