Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summary Statements for August's Install

This artwork has all been created during the last year, in which my family has relocated for a job opportunity to Saint Louis and into a new home. I have documented the uncomfortable process of acclimatizing to a new city and its quirks by creating small drawings that take into account the emotional discoveries along the way. These small works are magnified by a digital projector in Gallery Two and serve as a bit of “war room briefing” of what others can expect from the process. The words and works are meant to be a humorous and personal record of processing new information and places.

In Gallery One, I continue this idea through the home we purchased a few months ago. Removing the wallpaper- a painful endeavor, I decided to make a trophy of the former skin of the kitchen. This destructive act made the house like a home.

Now a caretaker of a large yard and small garden, I have been researching composting, soil ecology, and native plantings. The resilience of the prolific organisms under the soil and above inspired this work combining mechanical and natural elements into an ancient warfare formation. This aggressive, yet playful work seems appropriate in Art Space 144 across from the athletic trophy cases.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Interactive Chicago

Last Friday I drove up to Chicago for Woman Made Gallery's "Interactive" exhibition. I wanted to see the reception of my work as well as meet some new people and see some old friends. The weather was horrible- thunderstorms and lots of rain, but several people still came out. B got stuck in St. Louis due to weather, and I didn't MegaBus it due to our original plans of spending some quality time in IL with friends the rest of the weekend together. Luckily, I met some great artists and met up with good friends-so I enjoyed myself despite the unseen solo aspect.

The works engaged several people, especially since people saw others engaged in it. So many of the book arts on display still seemed so fragile, I don't know if people really got to enjoy them as planned. I recommend the show, but bring a group to friends to play or the younger braver set.

I did get to have a great museum day (after nasty traffic) at the Art Institute of Chicago to see the new Modern Wing. The gardens were wonderfully cool comparatively and a great introduction to a new mindset after sitting in parade traffic.A recent work by Charles Ray. He found a fallen tree, fell in love with it, and had it carved by Japanese woodcarver. After seeing some of Bidou Yamaguchi's work during Ayomi's installation- all completed with handtools and no sanding- the labor that went into this is a thing of beauty itself.

Conduit to completion

Conduit is the answer, "Defense Mechanism:Phalanx" is the title.--- Several steps in the progression to completing Installation 3 occurred late last night/today. I did a very rough model using carpet and toothpicks and purchased conduit. The forward lengths of "spear" will be off the ground 3 feet, otherwise the seed of the idea is there. 5' lengths of conduit are perfect for this application--- I now will get buy in bulk and arrange and rearrange. Do I want the work at an angle and sacrifice some width? That viewpoint of the phalanx is most impressive to me, where the grid breaks down some.

I started researching aggression and war maps as they related to control and violence- which is something I just can't seem to wrap my head around. After the NIU shooting in Feb 2008- I stopped reading The Lucifer Effect mid-stream and decided to give myself some time to digest. I think I am ready to return to the form at least if not yet to the reading, since I have been musing on how the parts of house I don't like and destroy make me feel much more at home than my own things. Defense mechanisms in the form of maintenance (baking soda drawing in carpet- also a call to cleanliness and control), phalanx structure, and re:placing the wallpaper of my kitchen all seem to tie together. All related to coping mechanisms -our own weak defenses.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Installation Three

I've measured out Gallery Two's 5' by 15' feet in the working portion of my studio. The large glass front and door make this space ideal for a work I've been pondering for a few years now. I plan on combining natural materials- compost remnants or salvaged branches, most likely, into phalanx formation. The challenge will be fashioning bases to keep them in place and transporting the branches to IL from MO... Hmmm...

Re:Place Installation Progress

The first roll of wallpaper on fabric has been waiting around the studio for about a week now. This skin of previous paper looks like precious skin shedding... I finally have a use for pink gauzy fabric I snatched from a fabric warehouse (paradise) in North Carolina right across the Georgia border. My dear friend Erin took me on the adventure a few years back during my stay in Athens, GA for an installation. Fabric by the pound... I can see why Erin saw the abandoned buildings (who's owners allowed her to work in) and the stores in the South as such a boon for installation.

Fabric is one of the first materials I was planning on incorporating since I can roll it and unwind it. This means a great amount of surface coverage and the ability to drive it up to Crystal Lake in my own vehicle. My sewing lessons will come to good use.

Installation Two

Installation Two will consist of baking soda patterns on carpet... the pattern will take into account the pillar in the space. I've got to sit more on the pattern research to decide what it will derive from...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Work At Home and Out of Town

Things this past month have been busy- lots of out to town trips and piles of work to do to settle into the house. Here's a small sample of the goings on.

We drove back home a few weekends back to celebrate my best friend's little sister's wedding. It was great to see the family perform during the ceremony: singing, playing guitar, and belting it out on the organ.

I traveled to Chicago last week to complete a birdseed drawing as part of "Interactive" at Woman Made Gallery. This is a small detail before any audience interaction.

Bush pickles are looking good. Tasty too.

The Magnolia in front is in bloom. Most of the blooms are above head level so we are closely watching those closest to the ground.
I have finally finished up my sister's baby blanket. She's due in a few weeks, so I made it just under the wire. It is still en route, so I can't post images. That much time into a gift--- there needs to be a surprise element.