• Answering questions develops the work.....

    SEPT 11, 2018

    Recently, I found a random page from an application for a program that I applied to in 2012 and rereading it was struck how current it was.

    It felt like a gift from a more articulate version of myself.

    Until being forced to write for applications or grants, I find that my work often remains in the non verbal exploratory mode. I find materials and by engaging with them (MAKING STUFF) I "arrive" at understanding what feels "alive" to further develop and explore.

    So, I thought I would share what I wrote back in 2012.  Both as a reminder to myself of what I am doing plus to share and illustrate the wonder at that we notice becomes our "teacher" and  links all that we do.

    Also, some grudging appreciation for those challenging questions that first feel so demanding and impossible but then, magically, elicit what I feel, think and ultimately gain by my experiencies. 

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    Describe a powerful reaction you’ve had to work you’ve seen that has made you rethink or re-engage with your own creative process.

    One of my favorite recent works I’ve experienced recently is a Dan Corson piece, Grotesque Arabesque (2009), installed in Suyama Space, Seattle, WA.

    I’m fascinated by the natural world both as a source/reminder of wonder in noticing details and as an experience of a myriad of elements simultaneously. I have collected objects, images, sounds and experiences all relating to and exploring this fascination.  Corson’s installation took a small indoor space and made within it an opportunity for us to have an experience of both specifics and a vastness. One entered a dark space lit only by the intense blue light ribbons arching across the entire ceiling of the space. Underneath these lights and filling most of the entire space was a shallow still dark water body that reflected and transformed the blue ribbons above into topographical like lines of a map. As one walked the circumference of the pool ones orientation shifted to different patterns/meaning of the light ribbons, the reflections and the sense of water, light, space, and even sound.

    Experiencing Corson made me realize one significant element I want to incorporate into my work is providing an opportunity for others to have an experience of their own. While this was something I already was developing, seeing his work made me re-think that the experience had to be literal. His installation while reminiscent of experiences outdoors was thoroughly indoor and manmade and yet created a container for an ephemeral experience. The door it opened was the exploration of creating a real experience via lighting and simple but huge spatial containers. I felt transformed by being able to enter a world and walk around within it on my own volition. I would like to create such spaces for others to do this. 

    I have done three projects as a response to seeing Corson’s work. All were co-created with Mary Hubbard. In the first, we created a forest experience in a barely lit industrial space using only:  150’ X 5’ painted silk fabric (we painted), rotary fans, ladders, monofilament support beams and spotlights. The second was one where we had people lie down on the studio floor with studio spotlights on then undulated the ribbon above their heads so they could simultaneously feel the resting and releasing of their body into the ground, feel the breeze created by the movement of the cloth and sense the light filtering through the material and the third project was filming the ribbon in various outside environments: the beach against the gray sky, the deep woods wrapped around cedar trees and as an undulating line on a grass surface. 

    Seeing his work made me realize I am drawn to creating environments where one can experience on many kinesthetic levels – visual, aural, tactile and smell and to see how these can both evoke and create memories.  It has been challenging to explore how to work to achieve this in different scales (room size to box size) and in both man made and natural environments. Starting with what is, I’m beginning to find ways to create scenarios for possibilities.