Sunday, August 26, 2012

As I Have Been Conditioned To See Them

I used a handful of qualities as tools to create abstracted forms that pertain to either “femininity” or “masculinity”.  I chose the words “light”, “grouped”, and “soft” as the basis of femininity.  “Dark”, “hard”, and “distant” served as the words to inform the “masculine” piece.  In the feminine piece, the structures overlap one another and seem like individual containers.  There are more complexities in this piece due to the intricacy of stitching and transparent intersecting cut-outs.  The masculine piece is very geometric and simple.  It is two pieces of solid forms that stand apart from each other, distant. I began working on these two works with particular words informing my decisions throughout the process, whether it be color, mark making, form, shape, or line.  

Etching, Chine Colle, Hand stitched Embroidery on Japanese and Western Papers

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Process and Study of Madder

installation by Susie Ashkenas, Claire Barnhardt, and Frances Russell

spinning yarn with drop spindles and brainstorming vernissage ideas

received more roving in the mail (14 kilos)

the bag was bigger than our bodies...

the first batch of yarn spun, mordanted, and hung up to dry!

the dye bath preparation- madder root dye

our homemade teabags filled with madder to get the various hues of reds and oranges

after the yarn was dyed, the rinsing and washing period began

from there, the yarn must be "stretched"- we got creative

more creative ways to stretch yarn

the view and our yarn

what to do with two body bags full of spun and dyed yarn?

measuring out the lengths for the installation...or playing jump rope

preparing to install and balling up the yarn

reinstalling after the rain came

vernissage day!

Soft and Hard Abstractions

These pieces serve as the initial point of a larger body of work exploring “Masculinity” and “Femininity.” These ideas are constantly being reformed by each individual’s distinct definition and experience. Within our culture, the lines between these two are slowly blurring, yet we still connect certain words or qualities to them. I want to begin this new exploration and body of work as a simple statement of viewing these two ideas or words as separate entities made up of the same core qualities as I have been conditioned to see them.  The base of both of these pieces is a pattern that is inspired by cellular structures, reminiscent of a double helix.  The pattern also takes on different shapes to each individual viewer, whether it may be musical notes, clothes on a line, or nests.  I am combining both printmaking and fibers techniques in order to incorporate another layer of making distinctions between masculinity and femininity.  

 The series of three explores the relationship between feminine and masculine forms and their overlap.  Each of these incorporate the helix-like structure but in three distinct ways.  Quality of mark making as well as composition of these structures become very important in giving the viewer more information. This helix-like structure becomes a form of communication between each one of the parts: mimicking the physical communication within our bodies that dictate our gender.  In the more so “feminine” piece, the shapes are overlapping and create interesting negative space.  The mark making is scumbly and soft.    The composition evokes fragility as the Japanese print suddenly ends with individual fraying fibers or a drooping end.  In opposition to this piece, the form portraying more so the “masculine” side of things is straight and hard edged.  The composition seems very erect in comparison to the droopiness of the other.  The forms are simpler and the helix structures stand apart as isolated shapes.  The other piece begins to explore where one definition begins and the other one ends.  Each of the three pieces began with a few decisions such as color and mark making and then the shape and structure of these forms came about after many experimentations in arrangement. 

All of my aesthetic decisions are informed by extensive list making exploring my own experience with gender and what I instinctually associate with them.  I am hoping to continue this body of work by expanding this idea to different cultures, socioeconomic groups, and ages in order to get a larger perspective of the differences between “Femininity” and “Masculinity” and where they continue to overlap.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lacoste Sound Study

 study of sound that I did here in Lacoste