we meet and set up more structure

All four of us meet with Kim Larkin, director of Modified Arts, early Saturday, at the gallery.  Things are moving along remarkably well. The structure, the collaborative exhibition itself, as I noted before, develops organically. Working this way has truly allowed creativity to keep flowing. Focus is always on the art, today is no different.

I’ll tell you, the work each artist is doing, is both visually excellent and stimulating. This is true, with or without me, and or my opinion. We’re artists, making art, it’s all in a days work, but within this group meeting, there is genuine excitement to see each others progress and work. The curiosity is generative. We ask each other all sorts of questions about each others process. My instinct is that the audience will react the same.

Mary takes the floor first. She presents a bound series of 9″ x 13″ transparent sleeves holding full color, quality reproductions of both progress and work. The first image is the layout of the main work, which will be a 72″ x 18″ digital collage that will become a free-standing tubular sculpture, incorporating light. Materials: Plastic, digital drawing on paper, fiber optics, silk and light.  She’s in the middle of construction with challenges that are not yet resolved. She’s rented a new studio space, specifically for this new art to come into form. Satellite Series is the title of the new body of work.

Mary shows us images of two of the supporting drawings (one seen here) and explains the parts. Process included, it’s all extraordinary. Heck, the presentation is extraordinary.  Once you’ve done a public art project, Mary shares, all this

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becomes natural. If true, we should all do a public art project.

Mary needs specific space in the gallery, an area where light is most controlled, for the sculpture to show best. She locates it. It’s hers.

Carolyn follows, with lots of color copies of her process and samples of all the work, including the three supporting images. To complete the art to her satisfaction she’ll basically be working everyday from now until the install.  She asks for help in narrowing down process images some of which she’s appropriately called Accidental Compositions.

Carolyn refers to herself as an open book. In many ways, she is that. Her process elements for exhibit are photographs of the stuff that she surrounds herself with, and the things she responds to right in her environment.  She includes photographs of her front yard, which she experiences as extension of her creativity. She explains she’s simply dealing with different scale, it’s an interactive play ground, that has great attention to detail and lots of mark making (in 3D). I quietly wonder if the interaction is between her, the earth and natural life, or her and the neighborhood who must surely respond to the yard. I think the photos she’s setting up to explain process are a show all in themselves (2 above).

Carolyn is including two early mono-prints and a new linocut (below), as her three supporting works.  Two of the pieces include a self-portrait and all of them include animals, and connect in various ways, to the one larger work on canvas titled Portrait.

Sue continues next, explaining her work is traditional painting. She starts one work, completes it, and then moves it away, and begins another. She’s not certain how to capture process.  She notes one way the studio shows the stages: messy, messier, and messiest. We all laugh. Carolyn poses a question in a way that allows understanding that Sue has spark moments, where something triggers a connection, and her mind starts working. Sue describes process as fluid.  I get this. Do you?

Three, 13″ x 13″ works on paper will accompany the large work (example to the right). She’ll complete a few smaller additions that explore process (above). I see Sue as the person most in the moment, an always in process person. She comments several times that’s it’s all about trust.

If you ask me, the element of trust is also what allows the whole collaboration to work.

Sue still hopes to do a sculpture mountain, on the floor. She wants the brick walls on the east side of the gallery. They’re hers.
Her work is part of a larger series she calls, Quid-Pro-Quo.

My (Monica) main painting is a slightly larger than life, dark graphite background, mixed media drawing of a figure, myself. Anatomy is one focal point in the work, the parts that make up the whole.  I call the series Creative Structure. Overall, that’s how I best define myself.

My three supporting works include two older works on paper (one below) using the same sort of figure, with open arm format, and one new, after the fact. A smaller, brighter painting on paper (detail above left). You’ll see work progress from abstract to realism, and some in-between.

To represent my process you have to understand that I carry prepped paper, ripped small and portable. This is how I work out ideas and details for my compositions. As my day moves, and I find time, I sketch on these little sheets. In this case, because right now I am focusing on anatomy, I have small anatomical renderings, where I figure out composition, color or material, before I get to an actual work. I’ll show some of these.

I relate to a some of Sue’s comments in that I have thought that despite my interest and curiosity in all the new media, I am still very much a traditional artist.  The blog is one of my contributions to the project.  It’s a form of communication that allows use of interactive media. I still prefer to draw and paint.  It’s the method I communicate best with.

Meeting’s over and everything has fallen into place. Kim comments it will be a good run. We decide to have lunch and tie up a few loose ends of our own without Kim, who has to stay at the gallery. While eating, I ask about spirit and how it might play into everyone’s work. It’s a quick discussion and includes comments on the history of architecture, churches, myth and symbol, and a bit of our own personal relationship with the idea (or not). I ask because I feel spirit/mana present in our work.

Before the afternoon is over, Ted shows up. Serendipity. As you know the Ted Decker Catalyst Fund supports exhibition documentation and marketing material for the project.  He and I have been in discussion about having a professional critique the work, and write about it. The conversation continues with input from everyone.

It’s important I say this again, the work I saw and heard about this day, is strong in both content and form. It’s personal and yet socially relevant. The form, is absorbing, in the making as well as in the last stages. It’s exciting here, in the midst of all of this activity. I knew it would be. With the variety of artists and the inventive production…some part of it, or all of it, is bound to capture your full attention.

Come back, we’re learning, creating, and having a good time. Join us.


About monica

This entry was posted in art, art exhibition, art process, collaborative art project, phoenix, women artists and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to we meet and set up more structure

  1. Catherine Ruane says:

    Ladies….you are all wonderful and inspiring.

  2. monica says:

    Thanks Catherine.

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