Erma Martin Yost presents “Felted Fields,” hand-felted stitched constructions, as pictorial and poetic metaphors. Using felt as her canvas and thread as her paintbrush the magical mesh of fibers creates a language of symbolic images and archetypal forms. Some fields lie dormant where shadowy shapes shift mysteriously. Other fields burst with brilliant color and fertile life. In all of Yost’s work a strong sense of place and personal poetry emerge as she fuses her natural and inner worlds.
Felt, an ancient textile form, predates spinning and weaving by several thousand years. Nomadic peoples discovered felt when subjecting wool to heat and moisture, pounding it until it matted into a strong cohesive structure. They formed these densely packed fibers into durable objects ranging from the utilitarian to the religious, even constructing sturdy waterproof tents. Today felt is a favored medium for fiber artists and the commercial textile industry as wool is a versatile renewable resource.
This is Yost’s 19th solo exhibition at Noho Gallery. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Art and Design and was included in their “New Acquisitions” exhibit in 1995. In 2009 and 2012 Yost’s work was included in “Art of the State” at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. Also in 2009 Yost soloed at the Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters. Yost received New Jersey Council on the Arts fellowships in 1991 and 1999. Through the New Jersey Art Annual: Crafts exhibitions, her work has been exhibited in the Jersey City Museum, the Newark Museum, the New Jersey State Museum, the Hunterdon Museum, and the Morris Museum. Her work is included in twenty-one books, including “The Art Quilt Book” by Robert Shaw and “Object Lessons” published by GUILD, Inc. and juried by Michael Monroe, former curator of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. View Yost’s work at ermamartinyost.com