But It Doesn't Hold Water
Vessels, historically containers for sustenance, here cannot hold water. Colella breaks the rules of engagement, pushing the clay against stress and breaking points before hardening to solid form. The results are lumpy and misshapen, with cracks and orifices. They feel fungible and porous to the world. She stitches with thread, a signature gesture of mending, combining her trove of domestic materialities – quilts, drapes, upholstery, clothing, unfinished needlepoint, toys – contrasting rigid with soft, rawness with refinement, and exhibiting an unfinish that reads as a tenderness.
The pointed exterior narrative, so crucial to the artist’s prior work, has come undone. Instead Colella’s deliberate acts of control and resistance unravel to reveal an interiority previously tightly protected. The work in But It Doesn’t Hold Water quietly embodies both the frailty and the strength of surrender.
Colella’s exhibitions include The Textile Museum in Washington D.C.; Textile Center, Minneapolis; Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton; Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham; and Da Wang Culture Highland in Shenzhen China. She has collaborated on several public art projects, and her work is held in multiple museum collections. She has featured in The Boston Globe, Surface Design Journal, The Woven Tale Press, Vasari 21, Artistry in Fiber, and TextileArtist.org. She is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship and the founder of Fiberlab.