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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Hidden messages

By Isabel Braverman - staff writer

Fiber artist Meghan Udell uses Morse code in her knitted works.
Artist Meghan Udell learned how to use Morse code when she was seven years old. Her father was an enthusiast of ham radios and she got her own ham radio license.
When she was a teenager she learned how to knit after studying a Learn to Knit booklet from a thrift shop.
Her combined love of code and knitting are what brought her to her career today as a fiber artist.
She currently has an exhibit at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance called “All the Stories We Do Not Tell,” which will be on display until September 19.
The show features a number of different types of work, from knitted Morse code, to embroidered ceramic pieces with knitted embellishments, to ink and embroidery illustrations.

“The commonality of the show is thread—it's the proverbial thread that ties everything together,” Udell said.
The name of the exhibit comes from Udell wanting to explore topics that are considered sensitive to talk about, such as sexual assault, violence and racism.
Using hidden messages in her work, she weaves these stories together.
“I wanted to give a voice to some of those stories while still respecting the spirit in which those stories are told, so being able to tell them without shouting it from the rooftops,” she remarked.
Growing up in Chicago she has always been interested in art, but it wasn't until she studied at California Institute of the Arts that she “thought about art in a different way.”
While there she focused on tackling gender issues and the feminine perspective.
“I explored the idea of how I exist in the world differently from my male friends or family members,” Udell said.
Today she and her husband split their time between New York City and their home in Jeffersonville, where they have stayed since the start of the pandemic.
Because of the pandemic, she wasn't sure if the show at the DVAA would happen. When she heard the news that it could move forward, she says it was a cathartic moment.
“I'm trying to do something that has a little bit of permanence when everything feels very stagnant,” Udell said. “It just feels like such a gift.”
The show is open to the public during limited hours Thursdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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