The Shapes of My Dreams and of My Nightmares | yarn, heirloom clothing, fabric, faux fur, thread, embroidery floss, fiberfill, Installation view from Grounds For Sculpture, 2014
Untitled (from The Shapes of My Dreams and of My Nightmares) | 2014, yarn, heirloom clothing, fabric, embroidery floss, fiberfill, 62” x 33” x 31” (dimensions variable)
Untitled (from The Shapes of My Dreams and of My Nightmares) | 2014, yarn, heirloom clothing, fabric, thread, fiberfill, 61” x 41” x 32” (dimensions variable)
Untitled | 2019, vintage lace, repurposed fabrics, embroidery floss, beads, thread, fiberfill, 37” x 28” x 25” (dimensions variable)
Untitled | 2019, vintage lace, repurposed fabrics, embroidery floss, beads, thread, fiberfill, 45” x 17” x 9.5”
Untitled detail | 2019, vintage lace, repurposed fabrics, embroidery floss, beads, thread, fiberfill, 45” x 17” x 9.5”
Untitled | 2017, vintage lace, fabric, embroidery floss, beads, 7.75” x 7.5”
 Untitled | 2017, vintage lace, fabric, embroidery floss, beads, 8.5” x 6.5”
Untitled | 2017, vintage lace, repurposed fabrics, embroidery floss, beads, 8.5” x 6.5”
Untitled | 2019, repurposed fabrics, vintage lace, embroidery floss, beads, 12” x 10” x 7.5”
Untitled detail | 2019, repurposed fabrics, vintage lace, embroidery floss, beads, 12” x 10” x 7.5”
Biomorphia | 2018, yarn, fiberfill, 89” x 72” x 26” (central sculpture, dimensions variable)
Biomorphia detail | 2018, yarn, fiberfill, 89” x 72” x 26” (central sculpture, dimensions variable)
Untitled | 2018, repurposed fabrics, vintage lace, embroidery floss, beads, 22” x 18” x 16"
Untitled | 2019, repurposed fabrics, vintage lace, embroidery floss, beads, 5” x 3” x 3”
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Member Portfolio

Rachel Blythe Udell

Résumé

Artist Statement

I make sculptures and embroidery collages from heirloom clothing, yarn, reclaimed fabrics, and other materials. The language of textiles is also that of connection, threading together identity, history, biology, and personal experience. As human beings, we are part of an interacting, breathing membrane, transmitting and receiving the stuff of life between social and psychological systems, ecosystems, solar and cosmic systems. We flow, physically and emotionally, into our surroundings. The materials I use have their own histories, sometimes directly linked to mine, as in the case of familial clothing, sometimes not. Organic patterns in vintage laces and other textiles speak to one another, and seem to pulse with life. Always trying to minimize waste, I bundle together the scraps and ends from my crochet and embroidery pieces, to form new soft sculptural bodies. In this way, my work process literally begets new work, reproducing like a live organism.

Artist Biography

Rachel Blythe Udell works with fibrous materials to create biomorphic sculptures and embroidered collages. She has had a solo show at Grounds For Sculpture and exhibited in a three-person show at the Perkins Center for the Arts, both in New Jersey. In Philadelphia, she has shown her work at venues such as the Painted Bride, International House, and the Crane Arts Center. Additionally, the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation invited her to create a fiber art installation at Lemon Hill Mansion in Fairmount Park. Udell graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Art History, and has studied art and art therapy at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives and works in Collingswood, New Jersey

Education

2006 - 2007
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Graduate Studies in Art Therapy
1998
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Bachelor of Arts in Art History
Summa Cum Laude

Bibliography

2016
Featured Artist, Textiel Plus
2014
Featured Artist, Knotwe.com
News Post, The Art Blog
Work featured in "A Cosmos of Patterns". Director: Jeremy Newman
2012
Rosenberg, Amy S. "Fiber With Feeling", The Philadelphia Inquirer, Interview
Friday Picture Post, The Art Blog
2010
Interviewed as Featured Artist, Manufactured Dissent
Featured Artist of the Month, Philadelphia Women's Caucus for Art

Affiliation

2019
InLiquid
Member Artist
2018 - 2019
Strobe NJ
2009 - Present
Handmade Philly
2009 - 2012
The Women's Caucus For Art

Professional experience

Professional Development
2017
Creative Capital Professional Development Program

Exhibitions

Solo
2014
The Shapes of My Dreams and of My Nightmares, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
2013
Spring Forward: Contemporary Art in Historic Houses, Lemon Hill Mansion, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA
Installation
2-3 Person Shows
2015
Spaces Between, The Perkins Center for the Arts, Collingswood, NJ
2012
Jouissance:: Play, Et al Productions, New York, NY

Group
2019
Summer Whimsy, Jed Williams Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Art Underground, The Basement, Philadelphia, PA
2018
2018 Arts Annual Exhibition, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ
Jurors: Ysable Pinyol, MANA Contemporary
Jodi Throckmorton, PAFA
Knot Up To You, High 5 Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Threads of My Identity, Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
The Earth Speaks, The Barron Art Center, Woodbridge, NJ
Opening Up, High 5 Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2017
Mi Corazon, Eye's Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2016
Growing Creativity, Jed Williams Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Stand With Standing Rock, Eris Temple Arts, Philadelphia, PA
3rd Annual Day of the Dead Show, Eye's Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2015
Small Works, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
2014
Flora Fauna, Jed Williams Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2013
Bigger Bits and Pieces, Metropolis Collective, Mechanicsburg, PA
2012
Outside/Inside the Box, Fiber Philadelphia International Biennial, The Ice Box Project Space at Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Jurors: Elisabeth R. Agro, Bruce D. Hoffman, Judith Weisman
Bits and Pieces, Metropolis Collective, Mechanicsburg, PA
Stitch Witchery, Nichols Berg Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
More Stitch Witchery, The Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA
Gender Games, International House, Philadelphia, PA
2011
The Ragdoll Project for Human Trafficking Awareness, Multiple locations, Philadelphia, PA
Synthetic Zero and {SØNiK} Fest, Bronx Art Space, New York, NY
Collaborate: Collaborator, Eris Temple Art Space, Philadelphia, PA
Women and Water, International House, Philadelphia, PA
3rd Street Gallery Invitational, 3rd Street Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2010
Art for the Urban Collector, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Plexus, Rocket Cat Cafe, Philadelphia, PA
Devotion, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Women, International House, Philadelphia, PA
2009
Various and Sundry, The Skybox at 2424 Studios, Philadelphia, PA
Girls Gotta Run: Bodies in Motion, Holy Family University, Philadelphia, PA
2008
Grand Small Works, F.U.E.L. Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Collaborative Projects
2013
Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, Installation at The Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Embroideries featured in short film "Splendor". Director: Jeremy Newman
2012
Yarnbomb Consortium, Manchester, United Kingdom
Fiber Artwork and Performance featured in "Girl Gangs," by Lora Bloom and Bonnie MacAllister Classwar Karaoke: 0017 survey/29th February
2010
Women's Caucus for Art and Arise Charter High School, Philadelphia, PA
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