Over and Out … but not quite yet

Finally the last week of the semester has come!  And Lord knows I can’t wait for Friday to get here, but not for the reasons one might initially think.  Was the semester a little hectic and crazy?  Well… I had two internships, my GA with the photo department, I TA’ed a night class twice a week, played rugby until the end of October, and also worked at  brewery tap room when I found the off chance, so you tell me!  Jokes, jokes … each of those opportunities has taught me an immense amount about myself as a person and have provided great learning opportunities.  I loved every second of it for the most part and although yes I am looking forward to a break from it all, the biggest reason I am looking forward to the semester’s end is so I can REALLY dedicate myself to my work for thesis.

As usual, I am a bit behind the 8 ball, but maybe the best part about that is being self-aware and knowing that now I need to just put my head down and work.  Naturally I have always been a procrastinator and unfortunately Grad school has been no exception to that.  I found myself in a similar place last Spring semester – questioning whether I still even knew how to make art or not, just trying to make whatever I could to get myself propelled forward into something that felt right.  With an entire semester come and gone, I finally feel like I am on track to get somewhere.  Better late than never is what they say right?  This time though time is ticking and my thesis show is slowly but surely on its way.

With that in mind I have a productive and exciting “break” planned.  On Monday of next week I will begin my 72 hour project.  In attempts to see what it feels like to work for 72 hours in one week, replicating my dad’s work schedule, I will be in my studio crocheting for 72 hours.  I’ve purchased material and am excited to get it started.  It will be daunting, trying, most likely even boring at times, but something interesting will come out of it I’m sure.  I also went and spoke to the Battalion Chief of the Columbus Fire Department today about receiving donated fire hose from the Columbus Fire Department.  During my progress review a few weeks back there was mention about how content of a work can be found within the material and choosing which material to use within my work has definitely been something I have been mulling over for some time.  What is something that is referential to fire fighting and could be used within my work?  My first initial thought was turn out gear- but staring at my dad’s jacket I can’t seem to take much away from it and altering it in any form would feel disrespectful and detract from the pride I see in that coat.  The second material I’ve thought of is the aforementioned fire hose.  I put out a call to my family and friends in the fire industry about acquiring donated hose but my dad was quick to recognize that shipping fire hose to Columbus from Eastern PA and New Jersey would be quite the feet.  After speaking to the Battalion Chief today it is looking like I may be able to get the material I need.  Working with woven hose will be interesting and I am excited to see what can be done with it.  It will be heavy, no doubt, and put up a fight in my attempts to crochet, weave, or manipulate it, but I am up for the challenge.

After weeks of thinking about crocheting for 72 hours and also figuring out how to get fire hose donated, I have taken the jump and am going to begin.  (In the interim I have been spending time reading and researching – making sure not to neglect the behind the scenes of the making.)  I’m not sure what holds me back from getting fully started, maybe fear, uncertainty, or anxiety, but all I do know is that I no longer have time to let any of those things side track me.  Time is ticking and I need to get to work so here goes.  What have I got to lose?

 

 

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Rewind

Here are just a few quick scans of the work that was shown in Blue: A love affair.  (For those that did not make it to the show).  The written “post cards” were grouped with specific photographs and I have done my best to group them in the same fashion here given the limitations of this blog format. (click tiled photos to enlarge).

 

 

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Floods

Saturday started off really great.  I had a rugby game in Cincinnati (our biggest of the season and we won 10-0).  For those that don’t know rugby, a 10-0 score in an 80 minute game is pretty low scoring and can attest to the physicality and competition on both sides.  Anyway, post win, I was set on hitting the studio, printing some cyanotypes and really catching up on work that I need to make for this show I have coming up on October 16th.  A productive and well spent Saturday.

Things started off really well- the arc lamp was cooperating, I got some test strips exposed and was moving right along into the real prints.  I rinsed my test strips, took them out of the tray to dry, and left the hose of the sink on what I thought was low enough pressure so that it could continue to fill the tray I was using for when my prints needed to be rinsed.  I left the back coating room to go print some transparencies that would be needed for further printing.  (I really thought I was killing it here, multitasking and getting a ton of work done).  That was a pretty short lived confidence boost.

About 5-8 minutes go by and I go to check the arc lamp only to find that the sink hose has made a jump out of the sink and has been spraying water all over the floor for the entire time I have been away.  About a 1/2 inch of water flooded the space into the darkroom hallway and what was even more concerning was that it had flooded it’s way also into the arc lamp room, where the entire power unit for the arc lamp rests about 2 inches above floor level with all of its wiring nicely placed, you guess it, on the floor.

Luckily I was able to turn the arc lamp off, safely get all of the wires out of the way but I then spent about an hour or so mopping up the water because unfortunately there was no maintenance staff that could come help me at 9:00pm on Campus.  What a nightmare.

I have since returned to the darkroom this evening and gotten right back into printing.  The water is dry- no more floods, thank God and I will no longer be leaving sinks running at any point in time.


 

Overall I have some pretty mixed feelings about the upcoming show.  Not necessarily related to the content, but more in relation to the space and the size of the photographs presented.  My show will be in the Byers Gallery on CCAD’s campus.  I requested this space because it’s one of the smaller spaces on campus but as I approach the upcoming deadline I am concerned I will not have enough work to fill the walls.  Not to mention my sister is getting married this Friday, so I will be away from Columbus starting Wednesday and not returning until the day before my install (Sunday).  (A joyous occasion that I am very much looking forward to but just unfortunate timing).  As I sit here and think about the time I plan to spend printing over the course of the next two days and all the prep work going into planning for the install I hope I can make it all come together to look professional and complete.  Hoping God will bless me with some real time to focus, work, and figure out the best format for the display of all the work- although I know He will.  I’m also hoping to be able to get into the gallery space tomorrow and Tuesday evening to start planning some of the work’s layout given it is patched and ready from the previous artwork that was installed.

Cheers to year 2 right?

Blue: A love affair

I’ve never been the kind of artist that uses art as a means to express personal emotion.  For years I photographed the female form because I was interested in the aesthetic of the abstraction of the body and creating interesting compositions through a photographic lens, but since I have been in graduate school it seems the content of my work has gone from aesthetic, formal observations, to emotional, personal content.

For 2+ years I dated a man who I thought I might ultimately share a future life with.  We met in undergrad and developed a friendship, but there always seemed to be a little bit more there.  We were awkward and avoided the potential feelings we might have and instead spent time dating other people, until eventually in the Spring of 2014 we decided to give in and figure out what this weird thing was between us.  I always used to say I feel like I loved him since the day I met him, it just took me a while to come around to it, and I still believe that’s true.  I drunkly told him after a month of dating that I was falling in love with him- something I still am embarrassed about to this day.  Our time spent together in a small rural PA town while we both finished school was nothing short of amazing.  We both played rugby, we were both hard working students, christians; our relationship was what some would call picture perfect.

Unfortunately, however, as we got more serious, so did the potential for our future, or lack there of.  He was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, and come graduation he would have to make the decision as to whether he would find a job in the states and stay, pursue a masters here, or head home and study there instead.  The latter occurred and was something I feared for a very long time. In August of 2016 as I began my first year of graduate school here in Columbus, OH, he left and returned to South Africa without a set timeline or plan to return to the states. We did what we could, but ultimately our relationship ended in November.  Being an ocean away, with 6-7 hour time difference, and no real guarantee of when you may see each other next is as you can imagine, emotionally daunting.

Blue; a love affair is a body of work that is comprised of photographs I took in December of 2014 while I visited my boyfriend at the time and his family in South Africa.  The photographs are accompanied by a small book containing a written narrative that explains a personal association created between the color blue, South Africa, this man, and his family.  The photographs are printed as Cyanotypes to also reflect the content of the book and the color association.  The combination of written narrative and personal photographs aim to explore and explain memory and the pain or emotion that comes with a love once lost. unnamed

A recap of Spring 2017- better late than never

Phew… well it has been a while since I’ve posted.  Each time I have stopped into the studio I have reminded myself to get on here and post my end of semester work with an update and yet somehow it always manages to get tossed aside.  So, alas! All those that have been anxiously waiting, (no one), here it is!

 

 

I finished the semester with 4 finished pieces.  There are some questions remaining, things that could be further pushed and/or explored but overall I am happy with the result and was confident in what I had produced.  Just a month or so before the end of the semester I was having a total mental breakdown thinking I would have nothing to produce, so although 4 pieces may not seem like much- they felt like quite an accomplishment to me.   Below are images of the works before they were installed in the Beeler Lobby for the 2017 CHROMA exhibit.  If you live locally in Columbus I encourage you to stop by and check them out.  I won’t say much as I could really write forever about the struggles that I had throughout this semester and the resulting works, but instead I will leave you with my artist statement a brief description of the process and materials along with photos of the works allowing them all to work together and speak for each other.

Materials/Process:

A series of 4 crocheted photographs printed on silk and cotton fabrics, cut up and created into a yarn like structure, then finger crocheted.

Statement:

Over the past year I have watched my twin sister transition from college graduate to full time teacher, fiancé, and mom to two pets. She shares a home with her partner and they plan to be married in October of this coming year. Within this home structure she fulfills a very typical housewife role completing all the traditional domestic chores while her future husband tends to the “outside work.” I have observed her frustrations and stresses as she struggles to fulfill the role of “housewife” on top of her daily regime and very much have been frustrated by these expectations that have been set for her.

Using a camera to document this personal history as well as a collective of couples around the Midwest these photographs depict domestic interiors cut up, crocheted, and restructured creating a new image entirely. The crocheting process serves as a means to bring power to women’s craftwork while reconstructing and reconfiguring the domestic space offering redefinition of roles, ideas, and expectations within that setting.

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Studio visits galore

On Wednesday I met with my mentor Danielle Julian Norton.  Together we spoke about the direction of my work and brainstormed through some potential ideas I was creating.  I felt a lot better as we spoke and as our meeting concluded.  She really gave me some excellent advice in a way to think about working and art making in general that I hope will help me not only now but further into my career.

 

Today I also had the pleasure of meeting with Curator Amanda Hunt.  Unfortunately I missed her lecture last night because I had work-upon meeting her and seeing how down to earth and awesome she was, I was even more bummed that I wasn’t able to attend.  We had a quick 30 minute discussion and she was able to give me some artists to consider and some advice in regards to where I am thinking with going in my work.

Don’t be too literal in what I am thinking of referencing.

Be aware of the spectrum of experiences that could be applicable-not just my own.

I even briefly spoke with her about what I am thinking about for my possible thesis work and her intrigue was encouraging.  It was wonderful to get some time to speak with someone outside of CCAD and have them talk through my work and ideas with me.  Time flew by unfortunately but nonetheless it was a great opportunity.

 

This semester has been really wonderful and chalk full of studio visits which has been so helpful and eye opening.  I realized last semester I had not really taken advantage of visiting artists and opportunities like this and so I made a promise to myself that this semester I would make sure to really take advantage of visiting artists and lecturers who were willing to meet with students and do my best to meet with as many as possible.  So far it has served as a really positive avenue to understand my work better and get more of a holistic insight.  I am so blessed to be at a program that offers so many opportunities for growth and exploration.

 

Also- Amanda was the first person to ever ask me if I was a feminist and in the moment I was almost startled by the question.  I felt almost nervous or unsure but proudly answered, yes.