06.28.12

15 or so hours, a very black kneaded eraser, and a lot of smudgey handprints throughout my apartment later, the portrait is done. it is not much of a likeness at all and honestly frustrates me to look at, but

06.28.12

15 or so hours, a very black kneaded eraser, and a lot of smudgey handprints throughout my apartment later, the portrait is done. it is not much of a likeness at all and honestly frustrates me to look at, but

06.26.12

06.26.12

roughly eight hours in – roughly a nose and a mouth blocked in

06.26.12

06.26.12

roughly eight hours in – roughly a nose and a mouth blocked in

06.20.12 – 06.26.12

06.20.12 - 06.26.12

and so, the final project begins. i have yet to get comfortable with the method, which is very counterintuitive for someone coming from a very sketch-based drawing background. whereas I am used to plotting out my work beforehand, then building layer after layer upon a firm foundation. instead, this project takes a different approach that involves basically everything that it has been engrained in me not to do – extensive erasing and focusing entirely on one piece of the drawing, finishing it completely before moving on to the next bit.
while the process has been dreadfully slow, looking at the photographs has me realizing that I have, in fact, made a good deal of progress. considering that I have had no time to spend on this outside of class, and only two class periods of drawing, I am somewhat impressed with myself for the amount that I have finished.
like all of the other projects we have done thus far, this assignment has really shoved me outside of my “comfort zone”, even moreso than the others. however frustrating it may be, I feel as though I have already learned more from this project than any others – hyperfocus, being aware, erasing symbolism, and more than all, patience.

06.20.12 – 06.26.12

06.20.12 - 06.26.12

and so, the final project begins. i have yet to get comfortable with the method, which is very counterintuitive for someone coming from a very sketch-based drawing background. whereas I am used to plotting out my work beforehand, then building layer after layer upon a firm foundation. instead, this project takes a different approach that involves basically everything that it has been engrained in me not to do – extensive erasing and focusing entirely on one piece of the drawing, finishing it completely before moving on to the next bit.
while the process has been dreadfully slow, looking at the photographs has me realizing that I have, in fact, made a good deal of progress. considering that I have had no time to spend on this outside of class, and only two class periods of drawing, I am somewhat impressed with myself for the amount that I have finished.
like all of the other projects we have done thus far, this assignment has really shoved me outside of my “comfort zone”, even moreso than the others. however frustrating it may be, I feel as though I have already learned more from this project than any others – hyperfocus, being aware, erasing symbolism, and more than all, patience.

06.19.12

06.19.12

artist’s statement (kind of)
though not immediately obvious, the subject of this somewhat-traditional-appearing card is gender. instead of portraying this theme through iconic symbols, however, I chose to carefully consider my use of language and material to create a take on the traditional Valentine’s card that breaks the heteronormative, cisnormative binary card paradigm, and provides gender outsiders with a love note all their own.
like the subject, the use of materials is deceivingly non-traditional; while red and flowery, this card is handmade to the extreme; the intricate collaging and hand-stitched lettering involved a great deal of time, nearly 12 hours, as well as a lot of care.
the message is one that provides an alternative to those who do not identify with either side of the card department, or do not want to choose, as well as a play on words that imparts a greater meaning – a message intended for individuals AND for the collective community. further, the time and energy put in to this card is very intentional; it was truly made with love, expressive of the love and care that I have for the trans community. subject and material combined, this piece serves as a much-needed love note to the gender-non-conforming community.

as a women’s studies major and queer activist, this assignment gave me the opportunity to really engage in interdisciplinarity, as well as create something deeply personally meaningful. I am sure that this card is only the first in a series of studio art projects focused on gender, and I look forward to expanding my work under this theme. ideally, I can use this project as inspiration to create trans-inclusive spaces through studio art – beginning with the card store.

06.19.12

06.19.12

artist’s statement (kind of)
though not immediately obvious, the subject of this somewhat-traditional-appearing card is gender. instead of portraying this theme through iconic symbols, however, I chose to carefully consider my use of language and material to create a take on the traditional Valentine’s card that breaks the heteronormative, cisnormative binary card paradigm, and provides gender outsiders with a love note all their own.
like the subject, the use of materials is deceivingly non-traditional; while red and flowery, this card is handmade to the extreme; the intricate collaging and hand-stitched lettering involved a great deal of time, nearly 12 hours, as well as a lot of care.
the message is one that provides an alternative to those who do not identify with either side of the card department, or do not want to choose, as well as a play on words that imparts a greater meaning – a message intended for individuals AND for the collective community. further, the time and energy put in to this card is very intentional; it was truly made with love, expressive of the love and care that I have for the trans community. subject and material combined, this piece serves as a much-needed love note to the gender-non-conforming community.

as a women’s studies major and queer activist, this assignment gave me the opportunity to really engage in interdisciplinarity, as well as create something deeply personally meaningful. I am sure that this card is only the first in a series of studio art projects focused on gender, and I look forward to expanding my work under this theme. ideally, I can use this project as inspiration to create trans-inclusive spaces through studio art – beginning with the card store.

to them, from them

so many Valentine’s cards (I have come across no exceptions) contain messages that can be reduced to “to him, from her” or “to her, from him”. in scanning the aisles of a card shop, the department will consistently be sectioned

to them, from them

so many Valentine’s cards (I have come across no exceptions) contain messages that can be reduced to “to him, from her” or “to her, from him”. in scanning the aisles of a card shop, the department will consistently be sectioned

weekend 3 – summer valentine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAVoCZ5uKLw

in answering a primary question about this assignment – “who is this valentine for?” – I decided to work with a theme that permeates my work across disciplines, gender. I initially wanted to make a valentine to my gender, but brainstorming left me questioning my theme; from the cliche, sentimental “you are loved” to the tongue-in-cheek “to my future beard”, nothing quite fit. finally, last night, it occurred to me to craft a card based on the work of singer-songwriter Rae Spoon. music is hugely inspirational in my art, and Rae is especially influential for me, not just because we share a name and pronoun (the non-binary singular they or he).
Rae’s song Joan, an anthem of love and hope to their oppressed community of gender-non-conforming individuals, is the perfect inspiration for this project – a love note to my gender, and to my community at large.
the music video for Joan couples Rae’s song with the beautiful animations of Jess MacCormack.
“Joan is a music video that confronts the viewer with the violence trans people face in their daily lives. Featuring portraits of gender queers from around the world, as well as a few famous faces from Canada, the video offers recognition for the difficulty in surviving oppressive conditions. The love song, an anthem against transphobia, reminds us that through supporting one another we are not alone.”
drawing from this video, I plan to incorporate collage and embroidery, along with lyrics from Joan, to create a handcrafted valentine with beyond-Halmark significance.

weekend 3 – summer valentine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAVoCZ5uKLw

in answering a primary question about this assignment – “who is this valentine for?” – I decided to work with a theme that permeates my work across disciplines, gender. I initially wanted to make a valentine to my gender, but brainstorming left me questioning my theme; from the cliche, sentimental “you are loved” to the tongue-in-cheek “to my future beard”, nothing quite fit. finally, last night, it occurred to me to craft a card based on the work of singer-songwriter Rae Spoon. music is hugely inspirational in my art, and Rae is especially influential for me, not just because we share a name and pronoun (the non-binary singular they or he).
Rae’s song Joan, an anthem of love and hope to their oppressed community of gender-non-conforming individuals, is the perfect inspiration for this project – a love note to my gender, and to my community at large.
the music video for Joan couples Rae’s song with the beautiful animations of Jess MacCormack.
“Joan is a music video that confronts the viewer with the violence trans people face in their daily lives. Featuring portraits of gender queers from around the world, as well as a few famous faces from Canada, the video offers recognition for the difficulty in surviving oppressive conditions. The love song, an anthem against transphobia, reminds us that through supporting one another we are not alone.”
drawing from this video, I plan to incorporate collage and embroidery, along with lyrics from Joan, to create a handcrafted valentine with beyond-Halmark significance.

06.13.12 – reflections

06.13.12 - reflections

bacterial alchemy/material alchemy – artist’s statement
in thinking about my subject for this project, I focused on the issue of excess garbage, and resolved to create a superbug that could consume non-compostable products and reduce the space occupied by landfills. I did a large amount of research and found, to my surprise, that microorganisms with this ability already exist. after seeing a number of articles describe these landfill-reducing bacteria as alchemists, I fixated on the idea of alchemy as my theme for the project. alchemy permeated my entire process. The subjects, themselves alchemists, informed my decision to create my bugs entirely out of the material that they are capable of breaking down; as my pieces progressed, I discovered that my implementation of these materials was just as much about alchemy as the role that the bacteria play; like my subjects, I was transforming garbage in to something entirely different. Finally, the project as a whole influenced my artistic method and thought process so dramatically that it, too, could be considered alchemy. Through transforming these materials into transformative creatures, I have personally experienced a transformation in the way that I view the significance of material in art, and further, in my conception of “end result” as the most important element of studio art.

further development
in terms of where I would like to see the project go from here, i would love to build upon my work with polyethylene. the plastic bag sculpting process is difficult and meticulous, but I would really like to further hone my technique with the material. ideally, this would probably involve learning to work with a heat gun, or some alternative to the tacking iron as a tool to fuse the plastic to itself. however, I think that it is imperative to the significance of the work to maintain the bag as the only material shaping the sphingomonas. eventually, i would like to create a large-scale sculpture installation of these bacteria, as I could picture a naturally-lit white room, such as the Dana gallery, full of these micro biotic sculptures being incredibly interesting visually. i imagine that strung from the ceiling in large enough numbers, playing with the light, shadows, and translucency of the polyethylene, the installation would have potential to be quite captivating – simultaneously puzzling, soothing, overwhelming, and even beautiful.

06.13.12 – reflections

06.13.12 - reflections

bacterial alchemy/material alchemy – artist’s statement
in thinking about my subject for this project, I focused on the issue of excess garbage, and resolved to create a superbug that could consume non-compostable products and reduce the space occupied by landfills. I did a large amount of research and found, to my surprise, that microorganisms with this ability already exist. after seeing a number of articles describe these landfill-reducing bacteria as alchemists, I fixated on the idea of alchemy as my theme for the project. alchemy permeated my entire process. The subjects, themselves alchemists, informed my decision to create my bugs entirely out of the material that they are capable of breaking down; as my pieces progressed, I discovered that my implementation of these materials was just as much about alchemy as the role that the bacteria play; like my subjects, I was transforming garbage in to something entirely different. Finally, the project as a whole influenced my artistic method and thought process so dramatically that it, too, could be considered alchemy. Through transforming these materials into transformative creatures, I have personally experienced a transformation in the way that I view the significance of material in art, and further, in my conception of “end result” as the most important element of studio art.

further development
in terms of where I would like to see the project go from here, i would love to build upon my work with polyethylene. the plastic bag sculpting process is difficult and meticulous, but I would really like to further hone my technique with the material. ideally, this would probably involve learning to work with a heat gun, or some alternative to the tacking iron as a tool to fuse the plastic to itself. however, I think that it is imperative to the significance of the work to maintain the bag as the only material shaping the sphingomonas. eventually, i would like to create a large-scale sculpture installation of these bacteria, as I could picture a naturally-lit white room, such as the Dana gallery, full of these micro biotic sculptures being incredibly interesting visually. i imagine that strung from the ceiling in large enough numbers, playing with the light, shadows, and translucency of the polyethylene, the installation would have potential to be quite captivating – simultaneously puzzling, soothing, overwhelming, and even beautiful.