[SARASOTA, FL]Sarasota Museum of Art present IM(O)ther: son of the mother figurethe first solo exhibition in an American museum by Jamaican textile and fiber artist Katrina Coombs, open from May 22 to October 2, 2022. Co-curated with the Miami-based company Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI), this exhibition will present 12 fiber works. Including large-scale installations and intimate sculptures that reference the artist’s personal experiences. As well as experiences of other mother figures in her life.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to showcase the dynamic and multifaceted work of Katrina Coombs at the Sarasota Art Museum.” said Virginia Shearer, executive director of the Sarasota Art Museum. “The themes of femininity and the search for identity in her work align strongly with our commitment to celebrating diverse perspectives in the Sarasota Art Museum‘s exhibition program. We look forward to offering our audience a chance to experience the creative genius of Coombs.

To see in the Museum’s John & Charlotte Suhler Gallery from May 22 to October 2, 2022, IM(O)ther: son of the mother figure illuminates the range of fiber arts techniques that Coombs uses in his practice, including the laborious technique of knitting the works with various fiber materials. Coombs’ works are inspired and guided by a quest to deepen spiritual, emotional and psychological understanding of the many conflicting roles that have been assigned to women in contemporary society.

Katrina Coombs, Oshun’s Glory (detail), 2020, Finger knit mixed fibers, variable dimensions Courtesy of the artist

Use of the medium by artists

If the use of fiber is at the heart of his work, Combes skillfully weaves and sews cowrie shells, amethyst stone, mirror and beads into large-scale, tactile shapes. These non-fibrous elements are used to communicate conceptual ideas of identity, mother figure, wealth, ancestry and security.

“The works in this exhibition invite us to enter a world of wonderfully constructed fiber forms. Created over several years in response to a number of personal experiences, thoughts and observations,” said guest curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace. “Each piece in this exhibition contributes to our collective appreciation of Coombs’ work, as well as the range of visual possibilities that can be achieved by working with natural and man-made fibers.”

The works in this exhibition span a period (2015-2020). Referencing a number of the artist’s personal experiences, as well as the experiences of other mother figures in her life. Coombs’ work communicates a range of ideas in pieces that are meant to physically envelop the viewer in some cases, and in other cases keep them at a distance.

Katrina Combes
Katina Combes

“My work is governed and guided by my emotions. As I try to understand and search for the woman I am. Each work represents a part of me that is hidden from myself and others. They embody my hidden voice… The works I create depict my experiences with birth, death, love, grief, corruption, entrapment, destruction, joy, happiness and freedom. – Katrina Combes

Related programs:

  • Artist talk: Katrina Coombs and Rosie Gordon-Wallace
    Saturday, May 21, 2022
    1 p.m.
    Free for members, $20 not yet members
    Location: Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium

Join the Sarasota Museum of Art for a special conversation with featured artist Katrina Coombs and guest curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace. The two will discuss Coombs’ new exhibit, IM(O)ther: son of the mother figure. The conference will explore the different techniques used by Coombs to make his fiber creations. As well as the relationship of the works to the roles of women in contemporary society.

  • Interview with the curator: Emory Conetta
    Thursday, June 9, 2022
    6 p.m.
    Free for members, $20 not yet members
    Location: Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium
    Discover the latest exhibitions at the Sarasota Art Museum, Daniel Lind-Ramos: Las Tres Marias and IM(O)ther: Son of the Mother Figure by Assistant Curator Emory Conetta.

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