April 3 – September 12, 2021
Award winning fiber artist Salley Mavor (born 1955) has spent four decades developing her signature style and working methods, carving out her own niche within the children’s book world and the fiber art community. Mavor’s three-dimensional embroidered tableaus have been used as children’s book illustrations, social commentary, and stop-motion animation.
A Rhode Island School of Design illustration major, Salley left traditional mediums behind, preferring to communicate her ideas with sculptural needlework. From her home studio in Falmouth, Massachusetts, she has illustrated 11 picture books using her distinctive blend of materials and hand stitching techniques. Salley has roots in South Carolina, as her maternal grandmother, Louise Hartwell, (nee Salley) was born and raised in Orangeburg.
For Salley Mavor, a needle is her tool, thread her medium, and stitches are her marks. Mavor’s needlework’s are narrative and sculptural and are presented as miniature stage sets with scenery, props and characters assembled on fabric backdrops in shadow boxes.
The Upcountry History Museum is honored to partner with Salley on a second exhibition project, titled Salley Mavor: Social Fabric. Exploring the irony, tragedy, and beauty of humanity as it “unravels and mends throughout history” the exhibition provides a unique opportunity for visitors of all ages to experience the three-dimensional quality of Salley’s storytelling. Visitors will peek into imagined miniature worlds full of characters, props, and scenery all stitched by hand, and all focused on the importance of social connectivity.
Social Fabric explores cultural diversity, migration, fashion, the natural world, and a range of social narratives, from the everyday to topical subjects. Oversized bas-relief scenarios, presented in shadow box frames, are designed to create conversations between the artist and her audience. For Salley Mavor her wish is that visitors will “connect to Social Fabric in personal and meaningful ways.”
Becky and Bobby Hartness