Tuesday, April 27, 2010

desend ascend descend again

Our final assignment in Jarod's 'Public Art' class was to create and construct an "immersive environment" of sorts. I was initially thrilled, because this is the type of sculpture I've been so excited about recently, but I figured it's time for something new.... so in attempts to challenge myself and create a new type of "immersive environment," I have come up with this.

Basically, it's a model for something I'll probably never make. But a girl can dream, right? Perhaps it's entirely ridiculous and overly ambitious, but I'd love to be able to do something like this at Franconia Sculpture Park this summerrrrrr. Who knows?! The actual piece would be constructed of steel rebar and covered in concrete. The soft underbelly would (likely) be carpet padding manipulated in the manner I've done several times in the past, but sprayed with a white paint and protective weatherproof coating. I love the idea that it could be strong enough for people to climb on it... a sort of "stone mountain." Yet it's soft and inviting enough for folks to hang out underneath, have a picnic, whatever.

April 2010

model made of brazed steel wire, rockite, and tissue paper
approximately 2.5' x 2' x 1.5'

Monday, April 19, 2010

Franconia Sculpture Park: Artist Intern

I've got some super neat things doing down this summer... and this is one of them!! I'll be up in Minnesota from June 15th - August 15th, living and working at the Franconia Sculpture Park. As an Intern Artist, my responsibilities will include working the grounds/park maintenance, assisting the Resident Artists with the fabrication of their work, and creating/constructing a piece of my own for inclusion in Franconia's 2010 exhibition! It's already proving to be a much bigger opportunity than I once realized.

can you find my name?!?!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Situation Orientation

What an incredible opportunity... to actually get to make this... I think I've probably said that way too many times... but I really mean it. Its so exciting for me to see something like this come to life... especially after all the planning and troubleshooting that goes into it!
Back in February I walked into the Halsey with a notepad, a measuring tape, and a mission... and walked out with a vision. I know it sounds cheesy, but that's truly how it works. I was drawn to this specific space in the gallery and saw this cave-like form. I knew it belonged there. I knew what I was going to make.

Though I knew almost immediately what form this piece would take, the covering material was something to which I was never fully committed. I had various plans... animal intestines being one of them. But not until (at the very last minute) I started experimenting with a roll of cling wrap, at the off-handed suggestion of an on-looking professor did I know exactly how the piece would be finished, and what it all really meant to me.

As I've said before, I tend to start with forms and let the concepts cultivate from there. At first I had great concerns about the transparency of the material... but then I realized that the transparency is what this piece is all about. I've been working with these biomorphic forms (abstract forms that refer to or evoke living organisms), fabricating them in a manner that I believe to be evocative of 3D computer graphics (the sterile grid-like pattern). This form is soft and inviting, but its not at all place to hide, a place to reside (think hibernating bears). The City Paper said of walking through it... "the experience felt both intimate and exposed." Exactly! It's this idea of a false reality, a false sense of security... the transparency (and fragility), both literally and figuratively, of the fabricated "environment." Have I lost you yet?

April 2010
armature made of mig-welded 1/8 inch steel rod
covered with appx. 1200 ft of consumer plastic saran wrap
18' x 10' x 6.5'

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tower of Blobel

As soon as you walk through the doors of the Halsey, you are confronted with this piece, off-centered on the large white wall that welcomes guests into the gallery. Precarious as it is, this "Tower of Blobel" sits on a rickety cart-like pedestal on wheels, which, in my opinion, completes the piece, both aesthetically and conceptually. It's kind of funny how it happened...
I started constructing the piece atop of this cart (one of many that live in the CofC sculpture studio) because it was a piece that was built upon itself. It was also very fragile and easily dirtied, so it was important that I handle it as little as possible. I'd roll it around on the cart about the studio, over to the plaster station, back to my little corner, back and forth. Now, you'll notice the mess of plaster covering the cart... that wasn't there when I began. Constructing this "tower" proved to be a rather tedious, difficult, messy and horribly frustrating process. As many already know, in order to make each "blob" I filled condoms (yes, condoms) with wet plaster, tied them off like balloons, formed them into the desired shape, and held them in place until they hardened. Well... as the Trojan box warns, condoms aren't 100% effective... they DO break... hence the mess.

My plan was to build a tower of sorts, from the ground up... as high as I could go. But, due to the weakness of the latex, the fragility of the hardened plaster, the precariousness of the stacked blobs... I realized this was never going to happen. It was an unattainable goal. A true "tower of babel" type of experience. I felt on the smallest scale what those Babylonians must have felt on the most enormous scale... this feeling that despite all my efforts, I'm not in control. That there's a force far greater that deserves my respect, my honor, and my humility and without acknowledging that, all efforts are futile.

So, I submitted the piece on this cart for the sake of convenience, with the assumption that if it were selected it would then be moved to a proper white pedestal... but the curator, Mary Jane Jacob, liked the pedestal... thought the piece belonged atop of it. At first I was like, huh? But then I realized how right she was. The cart tells the story... it's evidence of the struggle... it adds to the instability... it completes the tower.... the tower of blobel...

March 2010
13 stacked plaster blobs
approximately 2.5' x 1' x 1'

Young Contemporaries 2010

Now on view, until April 27th... the two sculptures in the above photo are mine. What an incredible opportunity to get to exhibit in the Halsey's new gallery... SUCH a beautiful space! The opening last Thursday was rather exciting... especially because... um....

WOW... whaaaat? It was incredibly overwhelming. Still is. It's exciting to see people respond positively to my work. To watch people inspecting it, contemplating it, discussing it, experiencing it... that's the best part, I think. It's what keeps me creating.

Stay tuned for more words and images on each piece...
until then, check out the Charleston City Paper's review of the show!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Situation Orientation... a work in progress

When I proposed this installation, I submitted a complete scale model (images to come) with explicit instructions as to how the piece would be assembled in the gallery space. I built the armature in the CofC sculpture studio and cut it apart into three pieces so that it could fit through the gallery's 8' x 8' doorway... darn doorways, always complicating things! Upon submission, the armature was complete and cut apart... ready for install. Once in the space and reassembled I would then adhere the plastic covering on-site.

What you see here is the reassembled armature, in its space, ready to be wrapped!

After hours upon hours of wrapping... it's nearly complete!