Monday, June 18, 2012

Industry


While in between meetings and working on HIVE, the word industry keeps popping into my mind. The obvious definition has to do with manufacturing enterprises but the extended definition from the dictionary includes:
1. systemic work or labor, 
2. energetic, devoted activity at any work or task, 
3. diligence, 
and my favorite...
4. an assemblage of artifacts regarded as unmistakably the work of a single prehistoric group. 

Additionally, the word HIVE is also defined as 1. a place showing signs of great industry and 2. a teeming crowd, multitude.

This new thread reveals deeper meanings for me and my HIVE project. Besides being about the social chemistry between makers, it is also about the focus and effort required to create large process-oriented artwork. Artwork where material is deconstructed into smaller pieces then reconstructed into larger wholes in the transformation of meaning and perception. An endeavor that requires energetic, devoted activity and diligence.

Industry as a concept can be applied to larger cultural issues with lots for me to think about. Today, however, I'll continue to labor over my artmaking with due diligence and focus. The process of assembling HIVE chambers into large matrices gives me the opportunity to reflect on everyone who has participated already as well as all the promise of the future.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

MEDITECH Art Tour

On the gloomiest of all days I had the pleasure of going to the South Coast Facility of MEDITECH in Fall River. MEDITECH is inspirational in its approach to the quality of its workplaces. An enormous amount of positive energy and thought is put into the architecture and visual art of each building. Further, they believe in supporting local emerging artists! I hate to seem like I'm gushing but here's just a sample of what I saw on the tour yesterday. It was like visiting a museum or high end art gallery.... Have fun looking... I did!

 


Above is art commissioned for the open stairwell space.
Below is the cafeteria... an original art was scanned and converted to wall vinyl for installation.
The back side of all floors is floor-to-ceiling windows for all to take in the beautiful views of the lake.




Above is a detail of a Michelle Samour installation!




Every space is considered...above is the hallway in operations behind the cafeteria.


Very fun works too.
 Below is one of a series of portraits inspired by old yearbook photos. They appear on the stairwell landings of each floor. We had fun deciding who they reminded us of... for instance below could be my brother-in-law :).

And even some wonderful student work...



The reason for my visit was to facilitate a workshop for the Art Liaison Program... read more about it here. A very enthusiastic group brimming with ideas. Always a good time.




Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nothing In My Mind

Finally...  some relief from the string of events that I've been working towards for the past year... it feels nice. I've been reading and thinking and cooking and catching up with family and friends.

Today I had a lesson in art history from a friend over lunch. This evening I'm reading materials that I've been collecting and waiting to delve into. Tomorrow I'll be at MEDITECH teaching, and then gallery sitting at NKG.... nice.

I came across Lu Shegzhong, a contemporary Chinese papercutting artist. Using a slow, repetitive, meditative folk tradition he cuts paper into large conceptual art installations.

Once he asked a peasant woman what she was thinking about when she was papercutting, "Nothing", she said, "there is really nothing in my mind".

According to Shegzhong, the process is rudimentary and spontaneous and what he does is merely release part of himself into an essential visual form.

I know exactly what he means.

Looking forward to HIVE on Thursday.... and to have nothing in my mind.







Monday, June 11, 2012

Gallery Buzz


I've been hanging around NK Gallery lately with both gallery sitting and HIVE meetups. Last Friday we had the pleasure of meeting Barbara's son Chris, an MIT post-doc. He joined us and instantly eased into the conversations and activities. We had some visitors to our shows too. In the background is one of Erica Licea-Kane's pieces... her show is very compelling and worth a trip in if you can make it before June 22.

My show, PHYLA, is in Gallery II. I'll be at the gallery this Wednesday from 3-6 and Thursday from 11-noon.  On Wed. we'll be open for APT's Martini & Masterpieces fundraising event and gallery tour... stop in if you can!

Check out this photo of a fly trapped within the world of Undercurrent... You may remember an earlier post with a fly that was trapped in HIVE... I'd like to think that the transformation of material is so dramatic that not even a fly can recognize it at first glance :).


This week we have a HIVE meeting on Thursday, June 14, in Wellesley... contact me for details if you're interested in joining us.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

E.S.P.

Eastern State Penitentiary was designed and built in 1829 by John Haviland. The Penitentiary was revolutionary in its approach to not simply punish, but move the criminal toward spiritual reflection and change. It was the first prison that believed in rehabilitation of inmates with isolation and reflection instead of corporal punishment. After experiencing 142 years of housing criminals through many changes in society and politics, the facility closed in 1971 and has been kept as a "preserved ruin", meaning no significant attempts have been made at renovations or restoration.







I'm working on a proposal for a public artwork that, if accepted, would be installed in spring 2013. Last March, when attending FiberPhiladelphia, a couple of friends and I were able to take a tour. The facility has no heat or electricity so it was a chilling experience on a damp Saturday morning but well worth it. As you can see from the photos, it is a spiritual place with a raw beauty in the details of its own decay bringing to mind many themes that I like to think about. It's always an effort for me to find the exact words to illustrate these ideas for the narrative of the proposal, so I have some work ahead of me.... if only the walls could talk.


Monday, June 4, 2012