by Laura Hutson
Nicole Baumann: Fortune Holiday
When: Through August 24
Where: Seed Space (Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and by appointment. Call 310-6533.)
I just found at that Nicole Baumann and her husband, artist Derek Cote, have moved from Nashville to Detroit. It's a shame — both artists contributed to Nashville's CSArt program, are active members of the educational (Watkins) and studio communities, and are really great people, to boot. So I'm really glad we got this exhibit out of Nicole before they relocated, especially given the fact that, as a new mom, an understandable level of baby-mania has taken over her life. You can kind of infer that much from the chaos of Fortune Holiday, which is on view through August at Seed Space. (Just a warning — the gallery's business hours are scattered, so it's best to contact them before you're planning your visit just to make sure someone's around. You'll enjoy their company so much it'll be worth the hassle.)
But more than simply chaos, there's a sweetness in the way that Baumann treats her subjects. The hand-embroidered cut-outs pinned onto the wall look like sewing patterns with nostalgic, fairytale and woodland themes, and the whole thing just overflows with childhood. I see bits of Kara Walker's large-scale visual storytelling, but with a wave-like construction that sneaks up on you, so before you know it the flowers and ice cream cones have been replaced by 1970s sedans, rotary telephones and handsaws, and at the end a bird floats out alone and flies away. It's almost enough to make you tear up.
My favorite details: The ax that rotates at the gallery's corner, the curtained window panes, and the fractal-like shapes the cut-outs make in that little space. Look through some of the snapshots I took after the jump, and read more about Nicole on the Seed Space website.