This is really what I think about my work right now: Not quite there. Not quite good enough. My time is passed. The party boat left the dock without me and I’ve got nothing to do. Overlooked and of no interest to anyone; it’s all been done before, it’s all been done much better. But even so, I labor on, alone, lost deep in my own thoughts, wallowing in that sweet sad, lonely, leftover feeling. Now that it is just me, I can do what I want and maybe actually figure out what it is that drives me onward out of the slight depression into the open field. It’s super dense and specific, fragments of a life of noticing the insignificant and accidentally beautiful. A deep desire to make it all seem more important than it is, as a way to energetically reach out and remind you of the forgotten fragments of your yesterday that made you who you are.
Not sure this is enough, but it’s all I’ve got right now.
My work is interested in the underlying significance of the domestic sphere on artistic production. It argues for the relevance of craft, specifically ceramics and fiber arts, by creating a conversation between the two mediums.
Involving a series of transformations, my practice starts with drawing and embroidery and moves to clay, painting and installation. The embroidery stitches a picture in its own visual language, reminding us that everything we know and talk about was first taught to us in a mostly-forgotten home space. The little clay paintings are everyday, but also intimate and nostalgic. Organized into mosaic collages, they show how we gather up images of the world and catalog them into something that can be remembered.
The stitches are also used as a form of writing which further complicates the way line is used. By conflating drawing, writing and sewing, the private domestic sphere becomes visible and embedded in how meaning is constituted.
Paying close attention to other women’s artwork is an important part of my practice, here with the added frame that the artist is a mother. Following studio visits where we talked about a current or recent project, I created a sculpture that both represents the artistic production and the configuration of that moment of being a mother. Focusing on actual images and patterns in the art, it extends into something more which alludes to the exigencies of the moment. Each piece goes off on tangents, playing around with the clay structure for each sculpture and experimenting with how the demands are translated into something solid. Pushing my ceramics, it is also the first time the sculpture includes the computerized embroidery.
It all seems to be about copying artwork that is interesting, as a way of slowing myself down to focus on something that I do not understand at first. My work becomes a sort of meditation on the work and feels like I’m talking to the artist, trying to discover what choices were made, and see where it leads. It’s like learning a language of shape, form, geometry, pattern, and color. By looking really closely, I find a place for my own making which feels interesting, meaningful, and creative.
Nina Hole: The Architecture of Remembering
Lygia Pape: Copying Lygia Pape’s Book of Creation
Let me clear up a few things explores the middle-class home space created by a generation of women, now mostly forgotten. Organized around a series of videos, it references Martha Rosler and Chantal Ackerman documenting domestic chores and the anxious leisure of doing puzzles, making coffee, and waiting. The tidy mid-twentieth-century living room fronts a messier back attic space which allows for an exploration of places off limit. An excessive use of craft and pattern circles back to the conceptual content of domestic labor and asks: how is this configuration operating today? The question is pressingly relevant as the comfortable upper and middle classes become increasingly walled off inside, keeping out everyone else.
Inspired by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, my multidisciplinary practice assembles immersive installations of sculptural objects, video, and electronics. In Let me clear up a few things the cushions offer a place for watching part of Puzzle (9 hours, 38 minutes) and noticing the curtain gently float in the breeze. Flowers pattern the space in clay, fabric, foam, and shadow. Steel-framed card tables, the first topped with ceramics, a second covered in fabric, join a third projected in the central video. Behind the screen, flickering lights and the sound of brittle porcelain lure the viewer into an alternative space dominated by a large pile of boxes, left-over artwork, foam, fabric scraps, and props. A different logic operates here. There is a slideshow projected inside a box. Another card table, this time on its side, functions as a viewing screen for a pair of projectors juxtaposing domestic tasks to domestic entertainment. A smaller curtain, heavy with ceramics, makes a jarring sound when the fan blows it about and casts unsettling shadows. Mixed in with the foam are some little porcelain houses: fragile, cracked, and randomly lit inside. Complicating the space, Puzzle‘s audio broadcasts the older woman’s monologue of loneliness, entitlement, feeling left behind, and her preoccupation with solving the puzzle.
I hope the installation functions on several levels stirring memories to precipitate an emotional reaction, which then facilitates a broader response. Begun as a monument to my grandmother, as well as an apology for not valuing her more, my experience in the space reminded me how it felt to be a young child in her house. Much older now, I can consider who I’ve become and how that early education formed my ideas of who I should be. Like the repeating tropes of craft, it is hard to break out of these patterns and difficult to trace them to the source. Bringing this interior private sphere into the public, argues for a more inclusive alternative. For me, acknowledging my antecedents, allows for other possibilities.