Thursday, May 14, 2009

a night of excellence, and cheesecake.

dad and I went to my school's awards dinner tonight where i received the John C. Burton award, a scholarship given to a transferring art student. i was really excited to be nominated and then to win it was truly an honor. the scholarship is definitely going to let me breathe a little easier as far as paying for school goes. the dinner was an enjoyable time, i love going to events with my dad. my name wasn't until the third page of the program, so we spent the rest of the dinner making snarky comments and downing massive amounts of coffee and a bit of wine as well. my dad also got to meet Prof. Pacheco, my painting teacher, which was cool. i wish i would've been able to have more classes with him while at mt. wachusett, but he told me to come back and have a show in the school gallery once i get a decent body of work together so that was really encouraging. aside from almost falling up the stairs on my way to accept the award, it was a great night.

also, i won the floral centerpiece. bonus.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

midnight. abstraction.

its after midnight. i've been in my studio for over 7 hours. and so far i have only 2 drawings that are acceptable for my final- that is not good news. but i was feeling unenthused about the drawings ive been doing for my final series. so to relax i dove into some charcoal abstraction... i'm COVERED in charcoal but i think this is going to work.

i need to call it a night. have to wake up in a little over 6 hours. precious minutes of sleep are calling my name... tomorrow i need to crank out at least five more drawings.

Friday, May 1, 2009

memories & dust

Appropriation Term Project inspired by the work of Regina Frank

For my term project I chose to focus on the work of Regina Frank, an artist from Germany. Best known for her site specific installations and performance pieces, Frank often uses fabric, beads and the forms of dresses in her pieces. For my appropriation project I used her 1994-99 piece entitled “Hermes' Mistress” as inspiration for my own sculpture. In this installation/performance she sat wearing an enormous red satin gown, and with a laptop beside her, collected tidbits of information and conversations from the internet. Using lettered beads, she then transcribed the words found onto her gown, creating a swirl of text circling her dress. An effort to bridge the gap between growing technology and traditional handiwork, Frank started the piece in New York City with 35 straight days spent in the gown. She also worked on and performed “Hermes' Mistress” in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and Berlin.

Much of Regina Frank's work deals with political, cultural, or spiritual issues. These ideas are translated by the artist into a visual language using fabrics, text, and natural materials. Her own form is often a part of her installations, whether by image or live performance. Frank seems to have an affinity for the feminine form of a dress or gown, a shape that finds itself in a large number of her pieces. An active member of the international art community, Regina Frank exhibits her work in museums, windows, and public spaces.

Regina Frank's use of fabric and text both found their way into my project. For my appropriation piece I created a three-dimensional sculpture using wire, fabric, thread and text. In keeping with the feminine nature that is often found in the work of Frank as well as myself, the form of the sculpture is recognizably female yet still retains an abstract quality.
The actual construction of the sculpture was done with a core of foam and plaster, which I then covered with scraps of textured grey fabric. I stitched the grey material together at the seams with black thread, intentionally leaving uneven stitches and frayed edges to show the hand-sewn quality. I then used a transfer technique to imprint text from a xerox copy onto the strips of dark grey and green material. Printing the text out backwards, I used a transfer marker and pressing down hard on the back of the paper with a wooden spoon, transferred the ink from the xerox onto the fabric. Echoing the form of a dress or bustle, I added the strips of dark grey and green material onto the back of the sculpture creating a pattern of words and memories.
To find text and sentences that would reflect the theme of my project I also utilized the internet as Regina Frank did for “Hermes' Mistress”. I sent out a request via e-mail for sentences to make up the text element of the sculpture. I asked each person for one sentence dealing with a memory they have of a female. Good or bad, happy or unfortunate, I only asked for one honest sentence. My intent was to communicate the memories and feelings that a varied group of individuals have of females that have had an influence or impact on them. The idea was to use the words sent back to me to both influence the creation of the sculpture as well as to print the actual text onto the surface. The memories I received were surprising and diverse, yet were linked by the shared humanity of those who sent them. I was surprised with the honest words that people shared with me and in a way I believe this to be a community piece, as it was compiled with the help of others experiences and memories.
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