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Shawne Major's Tickle and Theresa Honeywell's Fresh Threads


Fabric artist Shawne Major makes tapestries, but they're not like any you've seen before. Employing small kitschy objects woven into surreal, oddly shaped wall hangings, they are different from what we normally think of as embroidery. Utilizing things like dice, feathers, hair curlers, tiny toy animals, Christmas tree lights, keys and little metal skulls, her concoctions come together with a spidery flair that falls somewhere between voodoo and pop art. Lamb is shaped like a very small dress, narrow at the top and flared at the bottom. Pink and densely textured, it looks innocent until you get close enough to see it's made from a manic mix of microscopically detailed beads, bangles, buttons, feathers, tiny forks and plastic rabbit heads arranged in a glowing psychedelic goulash of flamingo-colored flotsam. Lorelei is more elegant, an urn-shaped tapestry that evokes romantic old Europe in its melange of gold beads, stars and metallic tassels punctuated by tiny round mirrors and turquoise teardrops amid silky crimson rosettes to yield something like the couture equivalent of a peeled pomegranate — a resplendent baroque mass of mysteriously inviting morsels. It's hard to say exactly what Major is doing, but she does it with remarkable virtuosity.

  Theresa Honeywell uses her traditionally "feminine" sewing skills to create images inspired by old-time tattoos. Mounted under glass, they are rendered in colored threads on exotic Asian fabrics instead of the usual pigments etched into flesh. Lady Luck (pictured) is an iconic bathing beauty bounded by butterfly wings, an 8 ball and a pair of dice. Hold Fast features a pair of perky sailor women saluting an old wooden frigate on pink silk bearing images of Old Glory. Everything Nice is an actual motorcycle covered in knitted yarn like a tea cozy. Here Honeywell explores the contrasts between traditional masculine and feminine associations like a latter day Freud with a wicked sense of humor. — D. Eric Bookhardt

Tickle: Wall Hangings by Shawne Major

Through May

Heriard-Cimino Gallery, 440 Julia St., 525-7300;

Fresh Threads: New Work by Theresa Honeywell

Through May

LeMieux Galleries, 332 Julia St., 522-5988;

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