Sunday, November 15, 2009

Exhibition Review

“Lace in Translation” - Description and Reaction Paper

Lace in Translation is an exhibition currently being held at The Design Center at Philadelphia University. The exhibition is comprised of one designer, one design studio and one artist. The artists were asked to give their interpretation of lace. The Design Center at Philadelphia University has a collection of historic lace from the Quaker Lace Company that the artists drew inspiration from.
Though the artists were asked to interpret the same item, lace, the results are drastically different. The first piece that is encountered at the exhibition is an outdoor chain link fence, called “Lace Fence”, 2009, designed by Demakersvan. From afar, the fence appears to be a very delicate lace pattern strewn on top of the chain link fence. However, upon closer observation, the actual areas of the fence that looks like lace are also made of the same wire as the chain links areas. The intricate wrappings of the wire are deceiving on many levels, creating something both light and airy as well as sturdy and strong.
Moving inside the exhibition, the contrast is drastic from the fence outside. The first room is comprised of four walls of solid black lace. One panel is hung in front of a window, allowing the light to filter through the black lace, creating a spectacle of pattern against the light from outdoors. In the center of the room is a sofa made from what appears to be rope used for rock climbing, all in black and done using various knotting techniques. Surrounding the sofa are dressed made in black lace.
Following the room of black, there is a room of light, with light sculptures made of natural fibers hanging from the ceiling. The effect of the night and day rooms is lovely. The textures in this room are stunning, with yet again another screen of lace hanging in front of a large window. This lace however, is not traditional. It is made of natural fibers loosely woven together in lace-like patterns.
Outside in the courtyard is a large piece using an oil barrel created by Cal Lane. She use has used welding techniques to cut lace patterns in the barrel. The effect is both delicate and rustic. As the barrel is exposed to the elements, rust has built up on the surface. It is a treatment that makes the piece look age and imperfect, like old lace.
In all, I found this exhibition to be very well done. The artists’ interpretations of lace were intriguing and diverse. The mind is an incredible thing. It takes us each in such different direction, even when we are asked the same question. Of all the pieces I felt the strongest connection to the welded oil barrel by Cal Lane. The texture of the metal and the pattern itself was a juxtaposition that I really enjoyed. The rusting and allowing the piece to be imperfect was a choice I can also identify with, as well. The natural elements of material are something that I try to manipulate and use to my benefit in my own work, as well.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Artist Statement

My artwork is about the transformation of material and space. I find myself again and again creating relatively minimalistic artwork. When I set out to challenge myself artistically, I find that I am drawn to making work that focuses on a few basic elements: line, shadow, shape, and texture. I feel that the interaction of these parts is what makes the work strong. The way the light falls on the art and creates movement, shadow and, in a surprising way, enhances the beauty of something so seemingly simple as paper or wood.
A lot of my interest in the work lies in the process. I have found that I love repetitive movement and shape, so I tend to incorporate those into every piece that I make. I find that using repetition in my work allows the most intricate details to be seen in the piece. It transforms the material in a way that the viewer may have never seen before and finding emotion and beauty in simplicity becomes very enlightening for both the viewer and myself.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jess Gebauer-Frued, Uncanny

The story told in this reading is of a man that as a child dealt with a traumatic and reoccurring happening. The Sandman, who visited children who would not go to sleep and tore out their eyes, killed his father. The Sandman also reappeared later in his life, tricking the young man into falling deeply in love with an automaton doll. At first this story had little effect on me, but after getting away from the original theme, love of an automaton, as said by Freud, I was able to come away with an interesting take on it. What resonated for me in this story was how profoundly events in a persons childhood can impact them throughout their lives. The older I get, the more I realize how binding it can be to have a traumatic event happen in your childhood. I find myself, although the events I refer to are not nearly as bad as in Freud's story, replaying certain events that happened to me as a child from time to time. It is strange that many years later I can recall so many details and emotions. I think that as a child, it is hard to put things in perspective, so perhaps the reaction of a child to what is happening is more sever, thus leaving the child with a much longer and larger impact of the event. I know that is true for me. Though I am an adult, there are certain things that happened in my childhood (and as a teenager) that are still with me and can be painful at times. I too, knew about the Sandman as a child, but luckily my parents told me he was a nice person who simply helped you fall asleep.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

External Sourcing

External sourcing is something that I typically use in conjunction with internal sourcing. I think is it hard to believe you can have one without the other. However, in my opinion, finding oneself in an external context takes something extraordinary. Like the artists in the article, a person must be extremely driven by an external source to produce a body of work from it. In some way all the artists in the article have a passion, a cause they have taken up or a truth they feel the need to reveal. It takes a lot of dedication to push those sorts of issues. I feel that in my own work, I am normally influenced externally by sights and sounds such as music, nature, landscapes and wind. I feel that I tend to be more internally driven, but after reading this article, I can see how being out and about taking in the world could be a good way to jump start my brain. In the future, I will be more aware of my surroundings. I think it would be good for me to feel a better connection to the outside world, perhaps in a way I have not felt before.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sourcing Inspiration

Sitting here on my couch, it is hard to imagine how someone can be as inspired as the three artists in "Sourcing Inspiration". I personally have never been as in depth as any of those artists, and perhaps it is time to figure out why. I think in general this week, accompanied by this reading, has been particularly difficult for me. I have struggled, since coming to TCNJ one year ago, with what type of art I am driven to make. I have worked in many mediums and found some passion in a few of them, but nothing has really taken hold of me. I find that I am driven and engaged to do class work, but have little desire to do any work on my own. While reading "Sourcing Inspiration" I found the processes and ways in which the three artists approach their art to be inspiring. I have always believed that to be a successful artist, one must be passionate, no matter what type of art they make. Take Jan Harrison for example. Though I found her work to be a little disturbing, the ways in which she derives her images and the thought she has put behind them shows tremendous drive and inspiration. I must, in my own way, become this driven and passionate. I do not want to make excuses or dabble in things I know I have no passion for outside of class. So after a year of wondering, I have decided to return to the art of jewelry. It is the only thing I have ever had any drive to do on my own, so my inspiration, whether external or internal, lies there. I have not come to this conclusion lightly, and it may seem strange that I am writing this declaration in a response to a class reading, but it is a culmination of a year's worth of emotion, self doubt and lack of inspiration. So, the beginning of Thesis class and the the "Sourcing Inspiration" reading has officially broken me and I am new again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Artist Statement

Hello, my name is Jessica Gebauer. I am a creative person and have been so since I was little. My artistic path became serious when I decided to attend Savannah College of Art and Design after high school. As a Metalsmithing Major, I explored my creative side mostly through the exploration of metalworking. Though I was required to take classes in other fields and have done well in them, I have been drawn more toward three dimensional work. In 2004 I left SCAD and returned home to New Jersey, where I work professionally for four years as a gold and platinumsmith for some of the regions finest jewelers.

Working as a jeweler I learned a lot about myself as a person. I realized it would be hard for me to work in the jewelry field for the rest of my life. It was not creative enough for me and also tends to be a male dominated field where female jewelers are not always respected. I also learned that I love for my hands to be busy. While working as a jeweler, my hands became very good at their tasks and I enjoyed letting them do what they know best. During this process my mind was able to relax and explore.

My art now is a bit all over the place. I am attempting to explore as many mediums as possible to find the right fit. I have done a few sculptures and installations that have been very successful and I hope to continue the process of self exploration through my art. I am still waiting to find the perfect combination of process and creativity, but the journey is half the fun. For me, art really is about getting to know myself better. I have no style, or subject matter that takes my fancy for every piece I do, I feel that, at least for the present time, the process is most important regardless of the medium or subject.