Adrian Kershaw: From Videotapes to Vessels

You may recognize Adrian Kershaw as the mastermind behind the enormous, crocheted and knitted VHS tape covering that wrapped the courtyard wall during Modern Art 2012 and the following weeks.  You may have discovered her soft sculptures on display in the Lisk Gallery for two years and counting.  Perhaps you’ve recently purchased a piece of her work from the Boise Art Museum’s gift shop, or marveled at the set of a Morrison Center production she helped construct as a stagehand.  Maybe you own a winter beanie she crocheted and sold at the Boise Co-Op years ago when she was a humble textile designer.  Hopefully, you’ve navigated your way to her AiR Artist Studio in the Renewal basement to behold the shiny, stitched fruits of her labor.  If you haven’t, don’t fret; you can try, try again on September 6th, when Kershaw – and the rest of the AiR artists – will open her studio to the public for the last time during her tenure.

By using pieces from otherwise discarded VHS tapes, Kershaw’s work calls attention to the environmental issue of disposing of obsolete materials. On a broader level, she asks people to consider our culture’s rampant consumption of resources.

I recently popped in to check out her workspace, expecting to have to save Kershaw from a tangled, messy attack of the Mylar Monster, and instead found her working with a relatively tame copy of Jesse James in her gallery.  With a quick stretch of the tape, she demonstrated how she transforms thin, wide film into threads.  It was like a whole new kind of movie magic!  Kershaw said she’s been paying attention to how people respond to her work, which has prompted a new series.  Now keeping track of the films she repurposes, expect to see Rocky and Star Wars like you’ve never seen them before.  Please imagine Don LaFontaine saying that last sentence for full effect.

Adrian Kershaw’s studio is located in the basement of Renewal Consignment at 517 8th Street.  From inside the store, take the door to the left to the hallway bathrooms and head downstairs.  Alternatively, enter through the alleyway at 850 Fulton Street.  Again, make your way downstairs and behind door #6, you’ll find Kershaw’s studio.

Open studio dates and times are as follows:
Wednesday, August 22nd, 5-9pm
First Thursday, September 6th, 5-9pm
Official Closing Party is Friday, September 21st, 5-9pm

See more at

Words and Photos by Erin Cecil
This studio visit took place on July 24, 2012

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