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All content © 2014 Elin Noble

Elin Noble: Color Alchemy

New Bedford Art Museum

New Bedford, MA


February 14 - April 28, 2013


Click here for the review by Don Wilkinson in Artscope Magazine


Introductory Wall text for the exhibition




Elin Noble: Color Alchemy


Elin Noble is a dyer and textile artist. She has spent more than 30 years investigating the nuances of applying dyes to cloth. Since 2002 she has focused primarily on a traditional clamp-dyeing process known in Japan as itajime, a process by which luminous and complex colors and patterns are dyed onto cloth.


In 2006 the New Bedford Art Museum celebrated its 10th Anniversary with an invitational exhibition. We borrowed objects from the New Bedford Whaling Museum and asked local artists to create response pieces. Elin Noble responded to a 19th century landscape painting by William Allen Wall. Elin’s response piece was the first quilt she considered a work of art. We are pleased to be able to show the painting again next to the quilt.


It was not until 2009 that Elin Noble returned to making quilts. For some time she had been excited about the challenge of dyeing large complex pieces of cloth and began to see them as abstract paintings. By making them into quilts she was able to expand space, color, and imagery through stitching, and give the cloth a greater tactile presence.


In dyeing cloth and stitching imagery, Elin Noble is not only inspired by the poetic and magical landscape paintings of artists such as Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, and Charles Burchfield, but also by her interest in natural history, especially close-up photographs of seeds and pods, and 18th and 19th century etchings of sea urchins, jelly fish, and micro organisms.


Elin Noble’s quilts have been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. In 2012 she had a one-person exhibition at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York, and in 2014 she will have a one-person exhibition at the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum in La Conner, Washington.


Elin Noble would like to thank David Boyce, the former NBAM curator, for suggesting the exhibition, and Barbara Goldberg for the title, and for her early and continued support.

A 32 page catalog accompanies the exhibition, with an essay by the artist.


A special edition of fifty catalogs with an cloth insert, numbered and signed is also available. $50 includes shipping in the US.

Please contact me to obtain a special edition catalog.