Tuesday, May 29, 2012

more animals!

an artist statement

Hello friends & followers!

As you have seen if you follow my blog, I have been making a variety of animals & dolls lately. All of them are made from scrap materials that have been donated, or recycled free clothing. 
I wanted to share with you my Artist Statement which accompanies these creations.
 I don't usually use my blog as a platform to discuss many of the intentions of my artwork, but I am feeling impassioned to give a bit of an explanation as to what some of my ideas are which inform my artwork, and provide you with a little bit of background as to what it is I have been up to for the past couple months during my study abroad program.

Artist Statement
I am making objects from your childhood. From my childhood. The kind of objects found in dusty trunks in grandmothers attics. The kind of objects that you are convinced jumped back into position the second you opened the door. The kind of objects which invite touch and gentle play. I am crafting memories and stories with every stitch I sew. I want them hold a nostalgia, an imperfection which makes them familiar and comforting. I want them to be totems. Sacred objects carrying the power of childhood magic. They make themselves. It is an explorative process. I make no sketches or measurements. I am sculpting with wool and wire, the stuffing from old pillows and partnerless gloves. The process is different for every object, they slowly tell me how they want to be made. They whisper in pin-pricks how to fold the fabric, when to let my stitches show and when to hide them.
I am making these objects from fabrics donated or found. It is materials before manifestation. What I find inspires what I make. I enjoy the spontaneity which comes with this process, and the challenge. I may not always have the perfect fabric, or the right amount, and so I am forced to get creative, and less nit-picky with my objects. I enjoy the new eyes with which I begin to see socks and pillowcases and scraps of felt, the endless possibilities a fleece jacket presents. 
In a world where computers can create drawings and even objects with immaculate precision, one begins to question, what makes art art? Is the nature of art inherently human, is the perfection we will never find but always strive for what makes art attractive and relevant? I believe that art is someone presenting a sincere and honest truth. And in a world where technology is beginning to reign supreme, the basic stark contrast between objects made with sincerity, love and honesty and objects plotted and printed becomes more apparent. It is important to me to present a touched quality in my work. A sense that the pieces I create have been hand-made and handled with love. I do not strive for the perfection computers can create, to me, that is imperfection. Interest lies in the qualities of imperfection we can all relate to. I strive for an honesty a nostalgia, and a sincere sense of well-loved-ness that I believe is unique only to being created by human hands. 
As you may know I have spent this last semester studying abroad at The Findhorn Foundation, a new-age spiritual ecovillage/intentional community in Scotland. My program is called "The Human Challenge of Sustainability" and the months I have spent here have focused on all aspects of what that means. We have been taking classes exploring more 'practical' and commonly-associated sustainable practices, such as green building & energy and permaculture gardening, as well as the sometimes less considered aspects of sustainability, such as creative expression, and the personal care of individuals.  I am beyond excited to return to RISD, and love it with all my heart. But one of the main reasons I decided to study abroad, is that the realm of art school can be extremely intense, and extremely small. One of the reasons I came to Findhorn, was to be with other students studying a variety of different things, but who all have a mutual appreciation and interest in the earth, and in the sustainability movement. All learning is all one. The courses I have taken here inform my work at RISD, and vice versa. I came seeking a balance, and a well-roundedness in all areas of interest that can be difficult to find in art school. 
The main reason I decided to come to Findhorn, was to develop a deeper connection to the stories and philosophies I explore in my artwork. There is no separation between who we are, the way we live our lives, and the things we create. I illustrate the worlds in which I want to live, and the people I want to be. Therefore I found it important to come to a place like Findhorn, where living in harmony and cooperation with the earth is a core community value. I believe if we as individuals and as communities strive to connect on a deeper level with our own personal needs, the needs of each other and the needs of nature, the environmental movement will make leaps and bounds. 
My work is a reflection of my commitment and passion for living a lifestyle in harmony with nature and all beings. I illustrate my sustainable utopia, because I believe it is possible. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

i made a rabbit and i can't stop photographing it

With a strawberry.
 In the daisies.
 With a baby bunny.

Just a simple rabbit.

Friday, May 11, 2012

little velvet rat

I wasn't planning on keeping any of the animals I've been making here at Findhorn.... but I have quite a soft spot for this one...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

a hero

An incredible inspiration, an illustrator of my childhood dreams.
Maurice Sendak has moved on to more fantastical realms, and may his adventures be as wondrous as those of his imagination. 

"I think what I offered was different, but not because I drew better than anybody or wrote better than anybody, but because I was more honest than anybody"

Sunday, May 6, 2012