I'm continuing to explore the tethered relationship between two forms (ie, sculpture-on-a-rope). A dual male/female shape and its sperm-like offspring. The two shapes in this piece can physically nest together or dangle in a playful dance. I've been thinking about familial fetters, from the umbilical cord to both seen and unseen traits that bind us once that visible tie is severed.
July 28, 2015
July 21, 2015
Before the days of debit cards the coin purse was a necessary item. Today there are a plethora of these kisslock pockets floating around in flea markets on and off-line. After soliciting friends on social media to assist me in gathering coin purses for this project I got down to business. The purses were cleaned (as needed!) and each one turned inside out. They are made of a variety of fabrics and leather. Some with one layer, others with multiple layers of fabric. I assess each one carefully and after a few pinches, tucks, folds and stitches I say voilà.....a vulva!
Putting images of these transformed coin purses into the world triggers an informative boomerang of ideas, inferred meaning and of course....chuckles. As a collection of objects these coin purses are interesting; as vaginas, they are evocative. I think it was Eva Hesse who said that she used repetition in her art because it recalled the absurdity of life. By eliciting a few changes from a simple object and exaggerating the effect with a grouping of the same, singular but unique objects, I've created a preposterous family of genitalia that speak their own mind.
Are they a simple statement on the variety of vulvae or a call to action against the horrific act of female genital mutilation? Do they comment on the parallel relationship of money and sex, prostitution or the porn industry? How about the age-old ideal of a women's place being solely in the home, subservient to men, caring for home and family?
I debated back and forth on whether to dub these transformed purses as 'coin cunts'. I love words, idioms and word pairings and refer to my dictionary often. The word cunt is marked with a 'usage alert' as a vulgar slang and its use is highly taboo in our society. It is a succinct word, it bites and it has baggage. But it is one of those words that truly embodies its meaning....the entirety of the female genitalia....the cunt. All this to say that no other phrase or word seemed to fit this collective grouping better than 'coin cunts.'
Thank you to all of you who've supported this project so far by sending purses. If you happen to have any spare kisslock coin purses sitting around in your junk drawer I would love to add them to this collection. I'm particularly looking for ones with colorful purse linings. In fact, I received one with a brilliant red interior as I was photographing the collection for this post. You can contact me here for shipping details. I plan to continue adding purses over the next few months until the proper time and place for their exhibition transpires.
July 14, 2015
One of the recurring themes I find myself documenting on a daily basis are the various textures I come across. Thought I'd put together a 'texture tableau' of my recent favorites.
Hand punched tin texture.
July 10, 2015
There has been a steady drizzle of rain all week long here in Springfield, Missouri. It makes for some cozy 'house-days' as we like to call them but I kinda want to send it somewhere else where it's more needed.
A few things of recent interest to me from the interwebs and beyond (ie, I read this & looked at that):
The fascinating art of forgery.
Looking at Craigslist mirrors.
Hair jewelry of the Brontë sisters.
A pictorial history of birth control.
Read this kick-ass letter....Do.
Listening to The People.
July 7, 2015
Every time I set foot in a thrift shop I tend to find pair or two of used scissors. My attraction to them is not need-based as most of them don't even cut well. I'm collecting them as objects with a past usefulness, handled and worn--a universal tool. My box of scissors has filled over the years and a couple months ago I decided to utilize them in a new project.
I'm taking each scissor and binding it tightly with strips of old sari cloth. I chose this material as my paternal family history is tightly bound to the country of India. As the scissors are wrapped they are rendered useless. Only the form remains as a recognizable symbol of its past use. They are now a simple object, a fetish that resembles the phallus. After the scissor is wound with cloth I hand stitch it to prevent unraveling and to lend the tactile nature of sutures to the castrated tool. The scissor is now secure in its mummified form. It has become a phallic symbol of life--scarred yet potent.
This is only the beginning. I continue to pick up scissors and add them to the box with others waiting for a new skin. Since sharing the project on social media I've received more scissors from around the country. A big thank you to everyone who has sent me a pair or two or more! One day I intend to exhibit these fetishes as a collection but for now I will continue to bind a pair a day.
July 2, 2015
Off Kilter, book skins (cloth), paper, glue & wax on panel
In addition to working on new sculpture I've been carrying on with collage. This is the process I turn to when I'm stumped with other projects or need a 'brain break'. It's playful and requires much less commitment on my part. These new collage pieces are all book skin scraps on panel. They are coated with encaustic medium--the wax is applied with a brush and fused with a hot palette knife. The layers of translucent wax with the marks of the tools lend a tactile, painterly quality to the collage. Buffing the cured wax is gratifying as it brings a lustrous sheen to the surface.