Southern Agenda

A Silver (And Indigo) Lining

“Art teaches us about cultural contributors,” says Caroline Gwinn, executive director of the Aiken Center for the Arts. “Who contributed to South Carolina history and who is contributing now?” In the Interwoven exhibition (March 30–May 3), part of that answer lies with Kaminer Haislip, a Charleston silversmith who uses tools and processes that were popular prior to the Industrial Revolution. The work of Madame Magar, a Johns Island textile artist who grows indigo, unlocks even more history. On view together, their works reference early colonial times until the Civil War, when silver and indigo dominated markets. “I’m interested in art and craft that deals with a sense of place and history, but at the same time turns traditions upside down,” Magar says. Her palm-sized baskets woven with indigo yarn, and Haislip’s shiny coffeepot fitted with a purple heartwood handle, place historic processes firmly in the present. The artists joined forces to create self-portrait silhouettes, dyed on cotton by Magar and framed in delicate hoops forged by Haislip, the two mediums connected in time and, now, space.