From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Fiber and film tests

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I can’t stay away from it.  Recently the potential of crochet as a medium is pulling on me.  I’m compelled to explore it.  It’s so hand-held and has so much 3D potential, but with very different meanings and associations than other mediums.  It will no doubt enter in with weaving, dying, spinning and the others.

I’m also thinking through and sketching out the pieta.  Sorting through ideas- possibly having multiple people cradled as if they are one baby, how to achieve the mixing of timeless and Medieval Byzantine, and Rennaisance elements with contempory ones in a way that works for the piece.  Materials, construction methods…

The pose, expression and size have been locked in my head since the beginning, as has the message.  I know I will be using some form of wooden panel that is small enough to embrace, but still larger than a single person.  A size that if you were to embrace it, you would be like a 1-year old hugging their parent, rather than someone closer to your own size.  Further research into panel materials suggests that honeycomb aluminum combined with wood (for visual effect) would be the thing.  Perhaps some marriage of the aluminum, canvas and wood to bridge the centuries.

The relationship between the general size of people and the objects they relate to is something I’m increasingly conscious of in my work.  Scale changes the way people interact with things so much, even when they aren’t actually touching the work.  It changes how they think about how they would touch it, how it makes them feel.

I got some of the first test film negatives to play with for the photo weaving.   This particular film doesn’t allow much room at the edges.  I am going to be experimenting with different methods of attaching the film into strips.  My initial feeling was to sew them into long strips using black fabric along the edges and between to create a frame and structure.  I will have to be very precise to do this with this particular film if I don’t want to crop the image.

Further tests ahead include seeing how large format slide film works.  I’m not sure if I want to use color.  I want the images to have a documentary look.  Certain color pallets and lighting situations could achieve that, but there is also the association with black and white and timelessness, or memory, with newspapers, silent film…  color slides make one think of a certain era of family vacations shown to relatives.  I don’t want that to be the main association.  On the other hand the size may help cancel that.

Other properties- the large format film negatives and the large format slide film are both possible to project through and get a positive image.  Slide film as far as we can figure out is only ever in color.  Slide film does have the property of looking like the image when you look at the actual slide lit from behind.  The negatives have the quality of being one-of-a-kind originals.  Weighing options.  I’ll know when I start playing with both side by side.  My instinct says it will be the negatives, but sometimes when you start working with the actual material, something unexpected suddenly makes more sense.  We shall see.

Written by Mary Corey March

December 28, 2009 at 3:37 am

Posted in process

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