Shelley Spector: Part 2 Dreck Groove at Breadboard


Following the tour of NextFab, Shelley Spector led the way to her recent exhibition Dreck Groove at the EKG Exhibition Space. As discussed (here), Spector produced the body of work for this exhibition as the Breadboard Artist-in-Residence at NextFab Studio. Breadboard for those of you not from Philadelphia,  is an arts and technology program at the University City Science Center. specifically Breadboard’s mission calls for,

 [Programing] that facilitates cross-disciplinary art exhibits, community outreach initiatives and special programs offering public access to a new generation of fabrication technology and workspace in an effort to empower individuals and convene communities around creative applications of technology.

This exhibition certainly fits that bill on a number of levels.


The press release describes Dreck Groove as,

[A] collection of embroideries on fabric, repurposed from shirts, pants, and other clothing. Presented in frames fabricated from discarded wood scraps, the imagery is based on the extreme environmental events during the summer of 2011. These works are partnered with site-specific wallpaper created from reclaimed cardboard, once used to package food, toys, and other daily purchases in the artist’s Philadelphia community.


Black Fire (detail below) typifies the strangely beautiful fabric works in this show. The fabric was found at local thrift stores, the frame made from scraps found at NextFab, and the embroidery was produced at NextFab on their uber-sewing machine from a digital matrix created by the artist, and itself extracted from her own drawing process. How a work with produced in such a labor intensive process, with such a considered relationship between form and content, can look so light and fluid is beyond my comprehension.


A full photo-survey of the exhibition after the jump.


Pink Rain





If you are in the Philadelphia-area and have not seen it yet, this exhibition will be up until April 1st – so do not delay!






Yellow Fire



Girl Storms


Green Magma

The real opus from the exhibition is the Dreck Groove (one) installation that show takes for it’s title. Dreck Groove (one) is a bit hard to describe without seeing it first, so scroll down and we’ll catch-up below.






Comprised of hundreds of pieces of cardboard collected by the artist around the city on recycle day. This raw material was laser cut to create a repeating, interlocking pattern. When seen from any distance the singular origins of the individual modules becomes lost in a mesmerizing visual phenomena, that at a contextual level is reminiscent of victorian wallpaper patterns. One aspect of the this work that is compelling is how it both assimilates and dominates the environment in which it’s hung (see the first two photos from this post for verification).

Shelley Spector’s work utilizes some of the most avant-garde technology that can be said to employ a matrix, and she does so with a way that supersedes any sense that she is employing technology for the sake of novelty. The same consideration can be found in her use of materials which embody her environmental concerns. Dreck Groove represents an exciting and ambitious new body of work by a thoughtful maker. We look forward to seeing where this will lead.

The video below is an informative interview with the artist produced by her gallery Bridgette Mayer Gallery.

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Categories: Artists, Artwork, Exhibitions, Uncategorized

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