Tag Archives: Gallery 51

Parallel

During March, Marianne R. Petit (website and tumblr) and I collaborated on a project for MCLA’s Museum Studies Class that curates and puts together an exhibit at Gallery 51. We began discussing the work at the end of February, began a collaborative Tumblr page on March 2 and then began to create artist books. Our goal? Completed books by the opening: March 27.

The Tumblr page served as our conversation/correspondence. Marianne lives in Shanghai, China, I live in Cheshire, MA, USA. So our collaboration needed to be virtual. We each posted a picture everyday from March 2-27. Each picture was to be in response to something that the other posted. As we began the blog, we also began to craft our own individual artist books. Books that would in the end derive inspiration from the Tumblr page.

Initially, we utilized Julie Chen and Barbara Tetenbaum’s Artist Book Ideation Deck to get us started.

Marianne got the following cards: Text: Abstract Non-Verbal Gibberish | Color: Muted or Pastel | Image: Self-Generated | Layout: Based on a historic example | Structure: Innovative  | Paper: Pretreated | Technique: Use a technique that is unfamiliar to you | Adjectives: optimistic, gigantic, whimsical, sculptural, futuristic.

Here’s Marianne’s book–check out our tumblr site for more pics, process, etc..Scrap Parallel03

I got the following cards: Text: Process or erasure | Color: Favorite | Image: Extracted from a single image| Layout: Based on a historic example | Structure: Innovative  | Paper: neutral | Technique: High-tech | Adjectives: opposing/contrasting, mystical spiritual, impressionistic, complicated/confusing, formal

What did I make with these constraints?  My book is a double-sided flagbook/accordion book (innovative)—with opposing/contrasting pages and can displayed opened to reveal all the pages.

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When thinking of a historic example, I thought of one of my adjectives, mystical/spiritual and turned to the layouts of illuminated manuscripts and page layout canons from the medieval period. It’s quite a formal and somewhat complicated layout, some of my adjectives.

The text stems from me hand-writing every single one of our blog entries. Marianne’s are on the left, mine are on the right. Once they are written, I am redacting the text through the process of “erasure” by scribbling over most words thereby revealing a new text. Scrap Parallel06

My image is extracted from a bird image that I discovered earlier in the month, it moves back and forth between the two sides of the book. There are pathways and little dots that create an impressionistic sense and will hopefully confuse the reader a bit. Two more of my adjectives.

I used Crane 100% cotton paper—Marianne and I agreed to source paper locally. My paper is neutral in the sense that it is not pre-treated, printed, painted or otherwise. Of course, I did add something extra–a dyed-tyvek spine. And I used my favorite color–a bright, near fuchsia pink. More as a challenge–one of my friend’s recently commented on the fact that you don’t see pink in much art. So not only is pink part of this book, the book is housed in a pink clamshell box made from pink silk bookcloth that I made a few years ago.

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My technique was supposed to be high-tech. Well, it’s high tech compared to the time of the layout. I used the Ames lettering guide to draft my text lines/layout. I also used a guillotine to trim the book and instead of glue, I used double-sided tape to adhere the pages to the spine. While none of these are considered high-tech right now, at some point they were.

It’s on view at Gallery 51 through April 20th. Hope you get a chance to see it.

 

Woodshed 2013

100 Hours in the Woodshed is a biannual event hosted by Danny O at MCLA’s Gallery 51. This is my third year as a participant. It begins with an opening reception/meet the artists from 5-7 pm on Thursday night, followed by three hours of art-making. We all leave around 10 pm and return on Friday and Saturday at 10 am working until 10 pm. Sunday we come back for eight more hours, again beginning at 10 am and this day working until 6 pm. At that point we strike the set, break down the tables, pile up the art and wait.

Monday, Ryder Cooley, G51′s new gallery manager and Susan Cross, MASS MoCA curator come onto the scene to curate the exhibit, and then it gets installed. Tuesday, like in two days Tuesday, the show opens to the public, from 5-7 pm. Hope to see you there!!

Please come. Please come to see the book I made. And the other stuff too, but I love this little book. I love everything I made. I haven’t been this excited by work I’ve made in ages. The book uses a structure that Alisa Golden is trying to get everyone who makes it call it the Australian Piano Hinge instead of Flat-Style Australian Reverse Piano Hinge binding. I agree with her. I saw the instructions for this on her blog and have been wanting to make it, and this weekend allowed me that opportunity.

Back of the book QUEST

Back of the book QUEST

Quest pages 1-2

Quest pages 1-2

QUEST pages 3-4

QUEST pages 3-4

QUEST pages 5-6

QUEST pages 5-6

QUEST pages 7-8

QUEST pages 7-8

Two important things happened for me this weekend.

1. It was confirmed to me, something that I already know and have read in countless books on creativity, that inspiration doesn’t just happen. Sure there are those moments of insight, but regular, focused work breeds inspiration. By the time I reached 29 hours into the event, two big huge connections happened. One–that one of the things I am doing in the collages that I really like is pairing the flat with the dimensional. This opened up a huge flood of visual connections and the opportunity to create more mindfully. Two, that the way to bring the God thing that I sort of haphazardly stab at here and there is by going back to the pages and pages of notes and writing that I did while earning my Master’s in Religion at Yale–and picking out text from that writing instead of the more cliche attempts that I’ve been making lately.

2. I am ready to move forward from events of two years ago. (If you know, you know. If you don’t–well, just know that I was very sad two years ago, and that sadness is really, finally and completely lifting. Don’t ask me about it.) While the raven will still be seen from time to time, there is a lightness emerging in my color and image choice that I haven’t seen in years. I even am consciously choosing to work with yellow. Unheard of for me. (Not that you will see it in this imagery, just trust me.)

Here’s the other work I made. I’m thinking it would be very much fun to cancel classes tomorrow, stay home and continue working, but I know I won’t be able to give into that urge. But maybe another day this week…

The work ist better in person–the light wasn’t so great today for these pics. I’ll do my best to update with clearer ones, so come on Tuesday so you get the best view!

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I shall be released

I shall be released

Six collages, the top middle one is my favorite.

Six collages, the top middle one is my favorite.