Thursday, April 11, 2013

at the seam... | My Graduate Thesis Solo Exhibition | 5 year anniversary

today's blog post is near and dear to my heart because today marks a significant milestone in my life as an artist.  this morning, while hunting for sample photographs to include in a power point for my advanced photography classes, i came across my grad show folder and then it hit me.  literally!! OMG! i thought. today is the exact date, five years ago today, that my solo graduate thesis show wrapped.  i had honestly almost missed the anniversary had i not stumbled upon it this morning.  

these images below were taken at the wrap of the show; so five years ago today.  they mark two long years of teaching full time and attending grad school until 11pm at night [only to do it again the next day].  they mark the transformation of my kitchen and living room into a studio filled with porcelain sculptures, photo transfers, and handmade frames.  

these images signify a labor of love that added thousands of miles on my car and a million more in my growth as a individual, artist, and art teacher. they represent the love and understanding from friends + family that never saw me [as i was buried under porcelain, photo transfers + homemade frames].   they represent all of the students i taught during those two years because they became my most honest critics. and lastly, they represent all of the understanding + loving support my husband, shawn, afforded me as i transformed our home and transformed my life!! thank you shawn for reminding me go out to dinners, take walks, and just breathe along the way!


today many of these pieces have found their way onto the walls of friends, family, and complete strangers.  i have kept a couple for my own walls and then sent the porcelain lily wall installation to a quiet country home just outside of milan, italy [and to me that is pretty cool].  thank you for checking out my solo graduate thesis show...


Individual Pieces


at the seam

cemeteries are gardens for the living to enjoy and the departed to eternally rest.

at the seam investigates iconic funerary art in conjunction with the concepts of time, visual landscape, recognition, and transition. The series taps into the symbol-system embedded within Victorian funerary artifacts.  The artifacts are modes of eternal recognition left behind to exemplify lifetime accomplishments, spiritual direction, or to provide solace for the remaining family.  

The placement of a hand or the use of a particular flower all contain significant meanings which allow one to comprehend the past, present, and future of those whom the artifacts guard at the final resting place. The landscape, however, strewn with funerary artifacts, is forever in flux as the elements decay the relics, etching away the surfaces leaving behind oxidized stains and eroded forms.   Over time such erosion has made the symbols less and less available for interpretation and in some cases the message has been lost. 

This series has no specific beginning or end rather; it unfolds in the same manner I examined the landscapes, like a leisurely walk. Furthermore, there is no documentation of specific loss instead; I have compiled a collection of common symbols that are repeated throughout various burial environments.  I was a guest within these gardens and therefore, I paid my respects accordingly. 

I have utilized a “toy” camera, alternative photographic processes, and porcelain sculpture in my investigations. The materiality of each piece is reflective of the physical state of the artifact and/or the symbolic language of the artifact. In a photographic sense, my camera and alternative processes mimic the serendipity and effects of time because the outcome of each image is left up to chance. I have but little control over how light leaked into my cheap camera or how my Polaroid transfers bled onto the paper or lifted from the film backing. Each image is cross-processed or, in other words, processed in inaccurate photo chemicals.  In doing so, the colors that make up the terrain are accentuated to display a vivid palette that highlights characteristics of the artifacts and the surrounding environment.

The porcelain I worked with in this series brought me back to something I could control, something I could shape and mold to mirror the eroding forms when a photographic image would not suffice.  I believe to have found a balance in the materials I used to document the seam between life and loss. 

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