Monday, May 23, 2011

No Compromise: Drawing III Exhibition

The final show went very well! We had quite a nice turn out and the food and drink was tasty! I really enjoyed the guest critique for the final. It is always nice to hear a second opinion of the work you've created and how outside viewers respond to the piece. I had a great response to my piece in the show and received the same feedback from the class in regards to using the materials from the drawing room for the fort's support structure. The space was laid out well and the interactive map with artist statements was fantastic and very professional. I enjoyed being able to see everyone's work in the gallery space as an entire class. It was nice to be able to graduate with one last show to add on my resume. I thoroughly enjoyed this class for the third time and I'm glad I was able to take it during my final semester at Stout!    

Fort Review

The fort was a huge success! The class responded very well to my recreation of a blanket fort using my own materials from home. Everyone burst into a discussion of their own memories and the desire to go home and make their own forts to return to that nostalgia. I didn't get a huge amount of feedback besides the wish that I didn't use the materials from the drawing room to build the fort. Ideally I would have liked to use the chairs from home, but I was limited with time and space to bring them four hours up to school. Everyone responded to the musty smell of the blankets and the light source as well. I'm not sure if I would include the painting again unless I was able to incorporate more of the knick knacks my brother and I used to use to decorate the fort's interior. This was my favorite project this semester and it will be the piece displayed in the final show.

Final Project

My self directed project investigates my workplace through photographic documentation. I have worked as a custodian for the past three years at Stout and during the summer at my local school system. I have come to discover that the job requires an essence of solitude and alienation, which I have chose to highlight through the photographs. The series is titled: Custodial Closet, which highlights the relationships between the personal space and the necessities associated with the job. I have juxtaposed the quirky aspects of making a space feel more like home amongst a clutter of cleaning products. Little narratives appear in places where they seem out of place. It is this aspect of the custodial closet that sparks my curiosity and urges me to photograph the setting. The photographs act as a closer look into the strange world of full time cleaning. I like to take time to slow down and notice things that spark my attention. The photographs spark questions through the images depicted and together act as a series of unveiling the ordinary and making it extraordinary.

The class enjoyed my photographs, but they were most interested in the image of the hanging ceramic figure. I also found this photo to be the most interesting, but I didn't know if it would have enough visual information to act on its own. I think if I were to show the photograph alone, it may come off as morbid, which was not my original intention. Overall, I am happy with the way the images turned out. I enjoy the blur and filter as it adds to the nostalgic, stumble upon quality of the photos.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Place Project

When I find myself thinking about places that are important to me I immediately begin to focus on places that formed my most valuable personal relationships and memories. I think of home, grandma and grandpa's house, and memories that make me feel warm and fuzzy. In order to avoid these cliches, we were urged to create a flowchart that might reveal an idea that resides beneath the obvious places that are prominent in the brainstorming phase. I found myself thinking about temporary places and vacations. I questioned the permanence of a place and its significance to forming memories and relationships. I also pondered the amount of time needed to be in a place before it begins to mold your past and make an impact on your life. Through this conceptual dilemma of the temporary place, I began to think about building forts with my little brother. A fort can absolutely act as a place. We created the space and made it our own. We often spent free time in them, doing everyday things, but doing them in the fort. Sleeping in the fort was always, of course, the ultimate goal. I feel like we may have built forts more than the average siblings 2.5 years apart in age, but then again my brother and I always had a strong relationship....

I remember playing a board game with my brother, which ended in a disastrous explosion of competition. There was name calling, anger, and accusations galore. After the incident my parents sat us down and we had a long talk about the importance of our relationship as siblings. They stressed the fact that after they are gone, it will just be the two of us and if we don't get along, our family would be nothing more than a descriptive word for two people who are born of the same parents. I remember the urgency in their voices. The two of us sticking together is so important because we're all we've got after our parents aren't around. The conversation made an enormous impact on my desire to stay close to my brother. We were amazing friends and playmates as children. The idea of siblings disliking each other was completely foreign to me until I was exposed to friends who "hated" their little siblings and never wanted to be around them. I feel extremely fortunate that I have a friend who is also my brother and that we were able to share laughs and play together as kids in a sibling relationship far from common.

For this project, I intend to re-create one of the forts of my childhood. We always built the forts in our vast unfinished basement with the same series of blankets. I will use the same blankets that hold the musty smell of a concrete basement floor in order to enhance the sensory quality of the installation. I will construct it using chairs and clothespins and decorate it using the same props we continuously used time after time. I want the viewer to crawl into the space and experience my place as their place and hopefully be able to trigger their experiences of building forts as well.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Protest Project Critique


The critique for my protest project went very well! The class was able to communicate the intentions behind the work and they enjoyed its overall attention grabbing quality. We talked quite a bit as a class about the importance of making work that has an extra spark that grabs the viewer and makes them want to look at the piece harder. The subject of protest and especially a subject close to home made it difficult to create a piece like this, that acts as translation. I think most of the works were informative and provided more descriptive aspects about the Bill in Wisconsin as opposed to creating some kind of translation between the work and the concept.

Fortunately, the class felt that my project provided compelling visual interest to the viewer while I provided subtle hints that allowed the work to act as translation. By realistically portraying the hands adorned with excessive jewelry I was able to translate the concept of the upper class controlling the middle class through the use of a puppeteer handle. The strings carefully loop around pennies with faces of middle class workers in both the public and private sectors, furthering the concept of control and identifying the pennies as a metaphor for the middle class and how they are viewed by the wealthy business corporations of America. The private sector and public sector faces are divided between the two handles to represent the fact that big business has manipulated the middle class to war with itself. It heightens the fact that we are responding exactly as they wish; turning against each other while their tiny percent of wealthy America remains sound in a time where cuts need to be made. The back of the pennies show Madison's capitol building to identify the local issue. It was suggested that my use of the transfer methods were well resolved throughout the piece since it is represented in both the transfer of the drawing and the transfer on the pennies. The 3D aspect to my piece was also suggested to be an added quality to the work overall. The fact that it wasn't just a drawing added to the viewer's immediate interest in the piece. I'm glad I decided to take the risk of making a 3D piece. I say risk since most of my attempts at three dimensional work often end up being fairly pricey at the cost of my failed designs. This piece, like I predicted, was made and then completely reworked before the final critique. Although it demanded quite a few resources, the time and money spent created something that I am quite proud of. I enjoy the face that I was able to create something different, since most of my work is protest, but in a much more subdued manifestation.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Protest Project Proposal

Well I have to admit that I've been falling behind on my posting. Between school, work and my senior show, blogging always seems to get missed on my list of things to do. Now that my show is up I have NO further excuses!

We are having a closing reception THIS FRIDAY March 25th from 6-8pm. Anyone who reads this is absolutely invited to come join us for food and punch in the student gallery.

In regards to the upcoming project, I have given myself quite an ambitious goal for the final outcome of my piece. I have chosen to focus on the notion that there is much more to the issue at hand than the problems mentioned on the surface. I would like to focus on the fact that this has caused a war between the middle class. What's left of the middle class is now at war with itself between the public and private sectors. I will also focus on the idea that corporate America along with those in charge of our political system are saturated with corruption, greed and the ability to control through capitalist money. My piece will act as a sculptural drawing suspended in space. I plan to draw two "wealthy hands" of each a male and female to represent corporate America, big business, political representatives and all groups I find corrupt and in control of these circumstances. The hands will be adorned with items associated with wealth such as jewelry and proper attire. I intend to draw the two hands on a sturdy translucent surface (most likely shrinky dinks or some kind of gel medium) which I will be able to cut out and use as a free sculptural form. I plan to attach the hands to two puppeteer handles, which will be manipulating the strings of the middle class. On the ends of each string I will place metal shapes of the state of Wisconsin with photo transfers of working middle class people I know who have turned against eachother on their surfaces. I would like to display the piece with some form of wind, allowing the metal pieces to hit eachother, symbolic of the war against one another.

I am very excited about my concept for the piece...I just hope I can execute it!   

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Critique: Mapping Project

Revealing Derinkuyu's Underground City

I was pleased with the class's reaction to my drawing. We discussed the subtle images that seem to appear within the drawing that tend to detract from the overall visual. The facial image in the left corner is indeed distracting, but could be easily resolved. After looking and drawing the image from different angles for an extended period of time I was unable to see such defects in the drawing. I also think my knowledge of the actual images of the interior spaces I was creating, biased my ability too see the symbolism as well. In my paper I discussed the question of whether my drawing could stand on its own without an immediate connection to the specific conceptual information about the work. I questioned the importance of the artist statement being paired with the drawing and if necessary information was needed to convey the concept of the piece. According to the class's feedback, the drawing works on its own as well as paired with the artist statement, unless my intent is for the viewer to know exact historical information behind the piece. I intended for the drawing to speak of chaos and secrecy, which it successfully conveys. I don't find it necessary to know the specific information about Derinkuyu when initially viewing the drawing, but the artist statement provides help to the viewer if they are curious to move further than the visual.