Gallery4Culture: Emma Jane Levitt's art confronts loss head-on

© 2015 Emma Jane Levitt, Untitled (detail), fiber. Courtesy of the artist.
© 2015 Emma Jane Levitt, Untitled (detail), fiber. Courtesy of the artist.
© 2015 Emma Jane Levitt, Untitled (detail), fiber. Courtesy of the artist.
© 2015 Emma Jane Levitt, Untitled (detail), fiber. Courtesy of the artist.

Emma Jane Levitt: In the Presence of Absence
May 7 –May 28, 2015
Opening: 1st Thursday, May 7, 6pm – 8 pm*

Gallery4Culture
101 Prefontaine PL S
Seattle, WA 98104

Gallery4Culture is pleased to introduce Emma Jane Levitt in a solo installation that investigates the experience of loss, the process of grief, and the longing for connection. In the Presence of Absence explores (both literally and metaphorically) the ways we are connected to one another as well as to place. This body of work centers on a shattering experience that happened two summers ago. On a beautiful July evening in 2013, Emma Levitt returned home after being away for a few hours, to discover that her partner was not asleep atop their bed – but was, in fact, lying there dead. Chris was young and fit, but at 41 he had had a heart attack. His death sudden and unexpected.

Grappling for what might console her, Emma was determined to grieve in her own way and at her own pace. Finding a tactile expression for her loss, a method to hold her partner close, a manner in which to mark and to pass time, and a way in which to hold space for the grief, Emma decided to knit her way through the experience.

Emma Levitt’s mother and grandmother were long-time knitters, who had taught her how to knit when she was a child. Emma gathered together all of her lost partner’s clothing and began to cut every article – jeans to briefs-to shirts and ties – into narrow strips that would become a bounty of yarn. She acquired huge wooden needles, rolled the cloth ribbons into big balls, and began to knit. Fifteen months later, she had a mural sized rectangle, a gigantic comforter. In the Presence of Absence consists of a 14 by 16 foot hanging knit mural and a series of monochromatic white embossed works on paper that hold the shadowy imprints of handkerchiefs.

The show will hang in Gallery4Culture through May and will travel to the John Sommers Gallery at the University of New Mexico in September, 2015.

About the Artist: Emma Levitt is a Seattle based artist working in textile, printmaking, photography and artist books. She has been recognized with the Clowes Foundation Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, a 4Culture Individual Artist Project Award, and both the ArtBridge Fellowship and Seattle Print Arts Scholarship from Pratt Fine Art Center. Her artwork has been acquired by individuals and institutions including the Special Collections Library at Washington University in St. Louis, Seattle Print Arts, and, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Ms. Levitt teaches at North Seattle College, Pratt Fine Art Center and the Frye Art Museum. Levitt earned a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of New Mexico. View her work at: emmajanelevitt.com.

*Vouchers for free 1st Thursdays patron parking, 5 pm – 10 pm, at the Frye Parking Garage, 117 3rd Ave S, are available at Gallery4Culture on a first-come basis.