Nicole Salimbene, Mending Waters, 2016. Needles, thread, and wood, 60 x 108 x .5 in.

Nicole Salimbene

Washington, DC

Flashpoint Gallery

Mending comes alive in Nicole Salimbene’s breathtaking work, awakening complex sensations of loss, empathy, and healing. An obsolete or forgotten activity for some, for others, it endures as a cultural norm born of economic necessity. In Salimbene’s vision, participatory installations incorporating thread, needles, and seating invite viewers to experience mending as a hands-on, multivalent art medium, rich in metaphor and ritual. Like many artists currently exploring tangible solutions to building community, Salimbene is concerned with our overwrought lifestyle and troubled environment. Rather than directing group activities, however, she opts for a silent, more solitary interaction to generate something new from the collective voice of anonymous partners. With no damaged textile in sight, Salimbene concentrated instead on the stitching process with Zen-like purpose. Who or what needed repair was left to the imagination. Simple furnishings and a minimal palette of white, cream, brown, and black lent a contemplative mood to the gallery and set off the works on view. …see the entire review in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.