Wherein Fury Takes Flight: History, Power and Magic at Aljira

Newark, New Jersey—Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to present two special events on March 2, 2013 and March 30, 2013 to accompany Wherein Fury Takes Flight… “the time of our silence is over,” a new installation project by multidisciplinary artist, Alyson Pou.

The artist's installation consists of a cluster of seven long dark dresses, their full and billowing skirts madly spinning and colliding as they hover frozen in their attempt to escape through the ceiling. A warren of life-size white rabbits materialize through the walls and gather to gaze transfixed upon the scene through human-like eyes.  Through a collage of dreams, recounted stories, objects, movement… Alyson Pou peels and reveals the layers of clothing that form our identity. Her [installations] speak directly to the intellect and the intuition. Weaving together the personal and the social, Pou's work evokes emotionally charged archetypes. With a background in modern dance, visual art and writing her work wonderfully combines movement, text, and objects. The installation will be on view through March 30, 2013.

The two events described below are designed to bring together a multiplicity of artistic voices and further explore and illuminate themes that Pou's work addresses including storytelling, feminism and the use of women’s decorative arts and crafts as part of the artistic process.


March 2, 2013     


Narrative Threads: Tapping the Motherline

This two-part women’s history month event will explore the generational stories and artistic practices of the participating artists. Part one focuses on visual artists who use narrative, storytelling, autobiography and materials traditionally associated with traditional women’s crafts like sewing, beading, and embroidery in their work.  Part two focuses on writer/performers who make solo works that use the oral tradition of storytelling and tap into matrilineal and cultural roots for their inspiration.

1pm - 3pm: Three Visions: Narrative Threads

Artists Alyson Pou, Janet Henry and Iviva Olenick show their work and talk about the history, power and magic of combining narrative forms like storytelling and autobiography with traditional women’s crafts.

4pm - 6pm: Three Voices: Tapping the Motherline

Multidisciplinary artists Alyson Pou, is joined by poet Christina Springer and playwright/performer Daniel Alexander Jones as they perform their work and talk about dreams, storytelling, transformation and the women and cultural roots that inspire them.

March  30, 2013
1pm - 4 pm

Artist Talk: Concept and Craft - Hand Made in the 21st Century

Moderator: Alyson Pou
Special Guest Presenter: Judith Brodsky, Distinguished Artist and Professor Emerita, Rutgers Institute for Women and Art
Panelists: Melissa Potter, L.J. Roberts, Andrew Salomone, Nathan Vincent, Bisa Washington & Noelle Lorraine Williams

Throughout the history of western art, decorative arts and handicrafts – embroidery, needlework, beadwork, sewing -- have been regarded as women’s work. In the 1960s and 70s, in the wake of the Women’s Liberation Movement, feminist artists in particular sought to resurrect women’s craft and decorative arts as a viable artistic means to express female experience, thereby pointing to its political and subversive potential.

Since then artists of all gender identities have embraced the use of domestic craft in their work. Globalization through digital technology and the internet has made it possible for artists to easily blur the boundaries of discipline, distance, and cultural traditions and develop new approaches to the use of traditional women’s craft in art making. How has the meaning and politics of using these crafts changed in the last 30 years? Where are we heading in the 21st century? How is a new generation of artists making use of these age-old crafts? 

This salon event organized and Moderated by Alyson Pou with special guest presenter Judith Brodsky will include presentations and dialogue with artists who use materials associated with traditional domestic crafts like sewing, beading, embroidery, knitting in the service of their conceptual vision. Ms. Brodsky will share a brief art historical context at the beginning and then come back at the end of the presentations to summarize trends and topics revealed in the work. The event will conclude with an open discussion and refreshments.  

About Alyson Pou

Alyson Pou has been making installation and performance work for over 20 years. With a background in visual art, dance and writing, her work combines movement, text and objects. She has performed, exhibited and lectured at museums, galleries, art centers, and colleges around the country. Her work has been presented in New York by Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Performance Space 122, Franklin Furnace, The New Museum, Artists Space, Threadwaxing Space, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Creative Time, Dixon Place, HERE, LMCC, the Bronx Museum, Central Booking Gallery and The Downtown Performance Festival. In California at New Langton in San Francisco and The Contemporary Art Forum in Santa Barbara,  The Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, The High Museum of Art and Nexus Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta.

About Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art

Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art fosters excellence in the visual arts through exhibitions and educational programs that serve as catalysts for inclusiveness and diversity, promote cross-cultural dialog, and enable us to better understand the time in which we live. Public understanding and support of the visual arts are strengthened through collaboration and community-based educational programming. Aljira seeks out the work of emerging and underrepresented artists and brings the work of more established artists to our community. Through the visual arts Aljira bridges racial, cultural and ethnic divides and enriches the lives of individuals.

Aljira's operations and programs are made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey Cultural Trust, The Kenneth Aidekman Family Foundation, Berger Organization, Bank of America, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Edison Properties, The Fidelco Group, Genova, Burns, Giantomasi and Webster Attorneys at Law, Hyde and Watson Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Lambent Foundation, MCJ Amelior Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Newark Downtown District, PNC Bank, The Prudential Foundation, PSE&G Foundation, SGA Group, State Farm Insurance, Tides Foundation, The Turrell Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; and individual contributors to our Annual Fund.

Aljira is located at 591 Broad Street in downtown Newark. For directions visit our website at The Center is open Wednesday through Friday, 12–6 pm and Saturday, 11 am–4pm. Phone 973 622-1600, fax 973 622-6526,