This past weekend I made a trek out the The Clark in Williamstown, Ma. It truly is an all day experience. Besides just taking in the art, the new architecture and grounds are inspiring in their own right. While I went out to see the David Smith exhibit I was surprisingly taken by the abstract painting show. The above artist takes on painting really caught my eye as well as their use of materials.
My second meeting with my artist mentor, Julie Graham, last weekend was much needed. Admittedly I was starting to feel a bit stuck in my head.
After our conversation I felt more confident in my current scattered state; she reassured me that if I didn't feel this way right now - second semester MFA - then I wasn't doing something right. She liked my ice melts but encouraged me to explore different papers and with different coloring agents. I have been doing a lot of documenting the past month or so, really trying to see what forms I am drawn to. Last semester I strayed from layering and working in small parts, but ultimately I really feel that it is fundamental in my process. When I think about the pieces I created last semester the most important aspect for me was the evidence left behind from its creation. That is what has stayed with me, not the importance of my hand. While I don't love most of the things I made from last semester they have led me to discovering that what really connects with me is the mark, evidence, process etc. of how an object came to be.
Between now and our next meeting I plan on investigating the origin of the clay I am working with, or what it is physically made of; begin to create a response to a natural environment; explore the idea of what a "core sample" of my home would look like.
Anyways enough rambling. Here are a few things that I brought with me to our meeting...
I just finished reading Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art by Maria Elena Buszek and oh my goodness talk about a good read. It has my head spinning in a million different directions. Though my hands haven't gotten deep into clay yet this semester my head is. Amidst my site specific observations and color studies I cannot stop thinking about clay. Looking back on last semester I think I got too carried away with making just to make. It may have been necessary at the time, but right now I feel I need to really think a little bit more before just diving in; thus my brief hiatus from my beloved material. While my wheels are spinning I have been constantly going back to two artists who work in clay and are currently blowing my mind; Clare Twomey and David Cushway. I can't get my hands on enough information about them, their work, their ideas etc. In David Cushway's artist statement he says "My work is underpinned by a fascination with clay as a medium; the history of clay use is the history of humanity; it is the material that binds us to the earth that we inhabit."; I couldn't have said it better myself. Now if I could only make work that reflects this... Also for your viewing pleasure...
I am extremely excited and humbled to announce that I have been named one of the 2014/2015 Mima Weissmann Memorial Scholarship recipients for the Study of Ceramic Arts at Harvard University! I found out the end of July but was terrified it wasn't real; but tonight I met with the Director and had my first tour of the studios and I am happy to say it is very much real! I begin on September 3rd
I am unbelievably excited. I mean I get to work here. Pinch me.
This semester, the making portion of my studio time hasn't come as easily. After my first meeting with my mentor I was enthusiastic and excited about getting back into the studio; however every time I go to create an object I have felt stuck.
Instead I have been very much in research mode, for better or worse. My reading list has been extremely interesting thus far and has provided much to think about. I can't seem to get enough information either in text form or visually. Hopefully in the next week or so the making part will start to click in.
As for right now I am trying to put all the fragmented ideas mulling around in my head together. I am spending the week in Harpswell, ME. Today I explored Giant's Steps, a natural rock formation along the coast. Since my undergraduate work cliffs/rocks and their relationship to water have intrigued me. The above caught my eye.
I'll be back soon and with any luck will have some studio progress to share.
One of the first tests of the semester. I am not particularly happy with the "video", however please bear in mind I am a 3D person and the digital world is all new territory for me.
When I began thinking of time and leaving a mark my first thought was water and ice. Last semester I started to experiment with how objects absorb pigment and what that looks like as a record. My hope was to demonstrate the changing physical properties of the object; in this case ice; and see what it left behind as a trace once it was gone.