Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

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Susan Carlson's Magical Realism

Magic Realism was initially coined by Angel Flores in 1955 for a group of Latin American writers. These writers wrote about a person that lived in the world we know, but experienced different reality or world view. Since that time, the definition has come to be used more broadly and evolved into different art forms.

For Susan Carlson, the term has come to mean realism with a sense of whimsy. Her exhibit and book by the same name, "Specimens", gives us specifics on the species using a fabric collage of fun textures and colors. She has created a salt water crocodile that is 20 feet long, because “that is what is truly awesome about this species.” The enormity of the creature is hard to visualize until you see it in person or with people for scale.

Some of her fabric collages tell the story of biodiversity, or the decline. Million to One was inspired by a radio story about the last frog peeping, peeping in a voice heard for centuries. The peeping that was silenced in 1989 when the last Costa Rican Toad was seen. Susan wanted to represent the larger story of frogs, a species in decline.

My favorite was Dixie Dingo Dreaming made to honor her pet Pippin. Since Pippin was a mixture of breeds, she felt the Australian fabric would be an “homage” to the dingo. The sun radiates out warming the beloved dog and the viewer. For a look at more of Susan’s work check out www.susancarlson.com