Special Special presents BOLTS by Oona Brangam-Snell, a set of blankets featuring contemporary interpretations of classical painting motifs. BOLTS (a unit of measurement for fabric) consists of five original blankets by Brangam-Snell designed over the course of the past year. In addition, a sixth blanket designed in collaboration with Special Special in limited edition, depicts a night sky with creatures surrounding an oval oculus, looking onward to the universe in contemplation and wanderlust. Tapestries have traditionally hung in peoples’ homes as insulation and decoration. With BOLTS we offer a modern interpretation in the form of blankets that can embellish our living spaces, warm us through the chills of winter and blasts of air conditioning in summer, and even provide us with comfortable seating for convivial springtime picnics.
The BOLTS blankets use traditional images: monarchs in profile, bouquets of fruit and wine, nudes with livestock, enchanted landscapes, all liberated by synthetic colors and kinetic forms that would have been beyond the reach of the handlooms of the past. The quoted artworks, no longer ecclesiastically enshrined, present themselves as intimate companions, in the guise of blankets. The creatures and characters that populate these textiles are freed of the authority they used to embody. But they still remind us, in an era defined by the ascendancy of invisible forces, that sight comes before words and that we never lose our primal desire for beauty, food, nature and ornament.
Oona Brangam-Snell is a New York based textile artist whose work highlights the enduring power of traditional symbols and the emerging power of contemporary iconography, in an era defined by the digitization of fabric production. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Brangam-Snell is influenced by centuries of textile production, from medieval tapestries to theater curtains. She works as a fabric designer for the textile firm Maharam.
Her work has been in group shows, including exhibitions at Woods Gerry in Providence; The (Hot) Pink Salon in the West Village; and the Paisley Exhibit curated by artist Peter Hristoff at the School of Visual Arts. She has carried out a number of private commissions in New York and Toronto, and most recently completed a mural for Dewey Dufresne’s new shop, Byggyz, on the Lower East Side. This is Brangam-Snell’s first solo exhibition.