As part of my residency at Fruitlands Museum, and a continuation on the themes of material culture and identity, I recently installed a new work called RELIQUARY (aka a holder of relics). Included in the installation are a new bronze assemblage inspired by more of my mom's belongings plus 16 bronzed balls of fiber and yarn. These wrapped bronzes not only identify with one of the icons, YARNS, from my show last summer, THE NOBILITY OF THINGS... they also express ideas around secrecy, oppression, disclosure, possession and consolidation.
The bronze and patina blend quietly with the natural textures of the pine tree - making connections between the manufactured, the natural and the complex relationships formed with the objects in our lives.
Herringbone pants and a sweater embracing possessions that include a television, yarn, dolls, doll furniture, kitchen utensils, bedroom curtains with pom poms etc. An almost figurative composition that abstracts the feelings around a search for fulfillment.
The bronzing is a what I like to playfully call a 'forgery'. These are not molded, cast and bronzed, but actual objects that are assembled, sealed to appear as if cast from a mold and then painted with paint that contains actual bronze chips. It is a several step process that involves the application of a patina and finally a wax finish.
It appears as if it is a real bronze statue and even though the final surface is very firm, the fabric will give under pressure if you poke at it. I love the trick of perception with the material and concept - portraying itself as a memorial statue of a particular place and time - but very much in the present tense.
Again, I'm indebted to all the assistance and support of everyone at Fruitlands to make this happen. Mike Volmar, the chief curator, was a real sport and climbed huge heights in the tree to attach the large balls. I would also like to thank Gary, Tim and Mary.
Please check it out during your next visit. We're meeting for HIVE on October 10 and 14. Plus there will be a large bonfire and interactive event on November 2... stay tuned for details.