For many, jellyfish are nasty, menacing creatures that creep silently through the water, furtively honing in on our exposed flesh as we tread water in coastal waves. As a kid, I was terrified of the cabbageheads and Portuguese Man O' Wars washed up on Galveston beaches, thinking they could instantly spring to life and whip their stinging tentacles around my ankles. But maneuvering through Arline Fisch's installation of iridescent sea creatures at the Center for Contemporary Craft, I wanted to reach out and touch them.
Made of knitted and crocheted copper wire and fabric, Fisch's intricate renderings of several jellyfish species successfully mimic the animals' bizarre shapes, wild colors and shiny, metallic sheens. Taken out of a watery environment and transferred to the air, they appear more like strange spores carried on the wind, or even like organic satellites. Kids gawk at them in wonder; not terror. These would've gone a long way toward allaying my beach fears had I seen them as a kid. But then there was Jaws.
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Through July 30, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main. For information, call 713-529-4848