Most women and many men know the importance of a strong piece of clothing; a wardrobe piece that makes the wearer feel confident, pulled-together, and yes, maybe even transformed. Sure, like Lady Gaga in a lobster-themed ensemble or Bjork and her swan, but many of the other non-wildlife encumbered things we pull on on a daily basis have a metamorphosing power.

Between the more dramatic transformations of the couture and red carpet scenes and the kitschy, hipster popularity of knitting and crochet, the Bellevue Arts Museum’s Mysterious Content of Softness, looks at the connection the human body has to fiber-based products by presenting sculptures, installations, and crafts that incorporate fabric, thread, and other soft (or once soft) filaments into art. What results is a study not just of clothing and personal identity, but also gender identity and the fragility of life.

The show is up now and runs through June 26.

Of the 11 national and international artists in the show, Stefano Catalani, curator of the exhibit, says: ‘They were chosen for their emotional response to and understanding of fiber’s potential for capturing the fluidity of life.’

That 11 includes a local: Diem Chau, fine artist and Urban Craft Uprising participant, will discuss her past and present work — which includes a bizarre and wonderful combination of porcelain plates and silk thread — in a free lecture March 4 at 6:30.

See the slideshow here for a preview of The Mysterious Content of Softness.

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