Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Twist, Tie, Multiply Reviewed

Pittsburgh Post Gazette:


"The effectiveness of such a provision was demonstrated in "Twist, Tie, Multiply," the fanciful collaboration by JoAnna Commandaros, Anna Divinsky and Karen Page that evolved throughout the festival and invited audience interaction.

The artists were regularly in attendance, working on the installation and with visitors. But even better was a mom, Betsy Commandaros, who served as a one-person welcoming committee, unobtrusively drawing onlookers to the art and then graciously explaining its various components, which included wall painting, metal sculpture and crochet and shibori elements."

Thomas, Mary. "Kudos to the festival for thinking outside the box". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. June 25th,


Pittsburgh City Paper:


"The visually lush "Twist, Tie, Multiply: Hands in Action," by fiber artist Karen Page with Anna Divinsky and JoAnna Commandaros, encourages viewer participation. Featuring textile-based organic forms, the installation is also meant to develop organically: Every visitor-made contribution, composed of dried beans and gauzy fabric, is used to fill out the curvilinear metal armatures at the space's heart. Visitors' works appear alongside crocheted sea anemones, knitted corals and gorgeous oil-pastel pods made by the artists themselves."

Guz, Savannah. "The Three Rivers Arts Festival gets the most out of its new shipping
containers-cum-galleries". Pittsburgh City Paper. June 19, 2008.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just Try to Contain This...

more photos of the public working at the installation:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Twist, Tie, Multiply: Artist Statement


Anna Divinsky, JoAnna Commandaros, Karen Page

(In collaboration with the students from the University of Pittsburgh’s Studio Arts Department: Julian Betkowski, Adrian Chin, Jessi Froetschel and the Pittsburgh High School’s for Creative and Performing Arts Clayton Bonner, Jenna Daniels, George Dykeman, Ben Page and James Pitts)


“Hands in Action”

Cabinets of Curiosities known as Wunderkammern and Rooms of Curiosities, or Kunstkammern date back to 16th century Europe when people become more and more intrigued with the relationship between natural and artificial matter. These cabinets and rooms were used to display bizarre, rare, ugly, and beautiful finds in order to gain a better understanding of life's mysteries and to demonstrate the wonderful creations of man and nature. The study of humanism and the growth of trade introduced people to the unusual discoveries from around the world. Collecting and installing natural and artificial matter in unpredictable ways challenged and shattered the boundaries between science and art.

We envision the container for the “Contained” show at the Three Rivers Arts Festival as an equivalent to a cabinet of curiosities that will house our own investigation into the realm of body and nature. It will represent the inside of a body or a living microcosm, filled with organic forms depicting polyps and growths in pinks, greens, and purples. The healing and resilient affects of these colors will play an important role in our interaction with the space. As a result, biomorphic cutout shapes of velvet, organza and felt draped and layered over welded pod structures protruding off walls will result in a lush, moldy and mossy environment that will grow and multiply with every day. The welded structures will function as a skeleton for this installation, allowing the fiber to fall and droop over their lines and curves. Drawn images of pods and organic forms on the interior walls of the container will also develop as this project progresses. This will be an evolving piece that will “vegetate” throughout the duration of this exhibit.

Shibori, an ancient Japanese method of folding, tying, twisting, and knotting will be employed to manipulate the fabric’s surface. We will be using beans and pebbles to tie inside the fabric. Once the fabric is dyed and dried, the beans are removed while the shape of a bean remains in the fabric’s surface. This technique is very accessible to children and adults alike. Our goal is to make our growing installation interactive, inviting groups and individuals of various ages and backgrounds to partake in its evolution. The public will learn about fiber and become part of “TWIST, TIE, MULTIPLY: Hands in Action”. This “cabinet of curiosities” will serve as a platform for learning, sharing and making art. Even though we will create the cabinet’s environment, a big part of this projects’ growth will depend on the public’s participation. We envision the “Contained” exhibit as a stepping stone for “TWIST, TIE, MULTIPLY” that will be taken to other venues and communities to continue an ongoing collaboration with the public, educating them about fiber and also learning from their personal experience.

Documentation of “TWIST, TIE, MULTIPLY” will be a crucial part of this performance. We will be photographing the metamorphosis of this project and capturing participants’ “hands in action” while tying and knotting using a video and a digital camera. Carrying out this project will lend in digital prints that will be for sale during this show, and later a traveling exhibit of digital images, a video and a flip book that will demonstrate hands twisting, tying and knotting before the viewers’ eyes.

We will reach out to different schools and communities to invite their participation in ”TWIST, TIE, MULTIPLY”. Students from the University of Pittsburgh’s Studio Arts Department and CAPA High school are assisting us in this collaboration.

Artists Biography