Most of my ceramic work is poorly documented so you'll have to make do with the few pictures I have of it.
This was a piece that I was fortunate enough to have selected to be displayed in the Annual Juried Art Show at the Foster Art Gallery. I was inspired by the work of Joseph Kosuth. Kosuth sought to find the boundaries of what exactly was or wasn't art. He, like Duchamp, found that a simple declaration of "this is art" was oftentimes enough for the public. While at the university, I began to grow tired of being asked "what does your work mean or signify?" I don't believe that every work of art needs to have a purpose. With this work, I removed the viewer's ability to interpret or perceive the work of art the way that they wanted to. They are forced into reading what the work depicts with no room for misinterpretation.
Exploration of density, space, and membrane. The forms are made from birch dowels tied together by wire. They are then covered with tracing paper by the use of acrylic glue.
Our project was to create a lino-cut based upon a poem of our choosing. Invictus by William Ernest Henley has always been one of my favorites.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
The Truth Hurts is my interpretation of our assignment The Senses. I placed two one-way mirrors facing each other. A projector was placed between them, projecting a video off one mirror and onto another. The reflection continuously bounced between the mirrors, creating a sense of infinity and depth. Part of the projection also shown through the mirrors, depicting the projection on the walls behind the viewer. The video shows only the movement of people’s lips as they talk but it has been muted, requiring the viewer to stop and concentrate on the movement of the person’s lips. As viewers yearn to interpret the mouths, they begin to realize that the mouths are in fact insulting them.
The assignment was to create an object to go inside the class cabinet of curiosity. The goal was to create something intriguing and mysterious that caught the viewers attention. I believe that the most mysterious things are the things you can't see and played off the idea of having a mauled box with an unknown content inside.
My concept for this project was to create an ordinary looking object that would be surrounded by my classmates more intricate designs. This leaves the viewer wondering if there is more to my piece than meets the eye. The box is one that cannot be opened, but a flickering light can be seen through cracks in the box. I am playing off the natural curiosity of the unknown contents of the box. I chose to weather and destroy the box to make it look like the contents of the box are highly coveted by someone or some thing. The box is a metaphor for the last couple months of my life. After being in a committed relationship for two years, I was getting to the point where I was beginning to see the rest of my life laid out in front of me. Out of the blue, a one-sided decision was made to end things. Two months later, I still struggle with this. Of course, some days are better than others. All I can do is try to repress the memories at this point. This correlates to the steps my box went through during construction. The box started out as new, pristine wood (before things ended). I aged the wood using acrylic washes and battered the box with hammers and chisels (after things ended). I then cut the box apart and chiseled along some of the cuts so that light from inside the box could shine through, then glued the pieces back together (the cracks represent my bad days when I have a hard time keeping things together.) Inside the box is a vial of ashes from a fire in which I burned all the letters and cards from her. These ashes signify the memories that I am trying to repress. These ashes are also from the fire in which I placed the box to further distress it. Thus, the box contains the contents of its own destruction. It is self-referential. Along with the vial of ashes inside the box, there are four small lights. These lights have an estimated battery-life of 120 hours, roughly five days. There is no way for me to open the box to replace the lights. When the lights die, so does my project and hopefully any resistance I have of moving on.
Shift is my interpretation of our assignment Poetic Function. For the assignment, we were required to change somethings function to something else. I chose to reduce something as precious/valuable as man to nothing more than a tool at my disposal. My tools in turn created the artwork for me, removing me from the art-making process, by walking across the campus/canvas. I named the piece based on a number of different reasons. I wanted to address our nation’s change from an eco-friendly (biodegradable powder was used) agricultural state to an industrial nation, I supplemented this idea by laying my powder down in a rigid rectangular shape. As the students walked through my inorganically shaped layout of powder, they would disperse the powder and detract from the inorganic shape, moving it into the realm of organic. I also wished to address the shift from natural environment to man-altered landscapes. Lastly, I wished to shift the cold, drab pavement (canvas) to a more captivating, color-splotched one.
With Shift, I sought to illustrate man’s impact on the environment and our inability to question the ramifications of our everyday lives. Running with Cornel West’s idea of the present culture and it’s obsession with ever-present stimulation, we are oftentimes oblivious to our beautiful surroundings and the impact we have on them.