From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Duly Stimulated

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The collaborative project I organized is doing its work.  I have been duly stimulated and have already come up with a new piece a step outside my recent thinking.

Both Annysa Ng’s and Sophie Menuet’s figurative work have given me a little desire to do an austere sculptural figure.   Katharina Fritsch’s “Monk” 1999) has stuck in my head for a long time too, and it is similarly austere- matte-black, simple.

In this case the project is to combine the concept submitted by one artist(s) with the iconic image from another.  Sophie’s mask/bird image got me.  The freedom of a mask, the idea of revealing something internal through veiling.  And Annysa’s concept was the invisible concept made visible.  On Friday I was admiring some cast glass work at the DeYoung and I had an itch to try it.  Last night everything came together in my mind… along with my hobby of costuming and sewing.

I picture a cast-glass face (which is generally a frosty white if the glass is clear).  The figure in matte-white, austere, feminine and restrained.  After looking through my costume books and resources, pinpointing my historical time-lines, 1890 seemed like the perfect period- a time when women had suffrage on the horizon (or if you were from New Zealand you had just gotten it), but were in some ways more socially constrained than they ever had been.  The clothes are restrictive, defined, and yet more simple in some ways than the clothing just before or after.

So I picture her, this figure, in white, with a face of cast glass… but in the shape of a mask, the face is clear, and in the clear, colorful images move inside.

In a way it also fits into Simone Stoll’s “unquiet mind” concept as well.

I can do it with a short-throw projector and a single-surface mirror or two.  I think I have the patterns I want for the dress.   I’ll be taking a glass-casting workshop, and there are details to work out, but I’m  very excited about the piece.  The images themselves will take some thought… but they must be colorful, intense and passionate.

Written by Mary Corey March

January 27, 2010 at 11:34 am

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