The Lunchtime Lecture with John Freyer was really enjoyable and interesting - perhaps more so than any other Lunchtime Lecture that I've been to. Freyer seemed like an immensely motivated and creative person, and I was impressed by his openness to the audience. Knowing little about social practice art, I was intrigued by his work, and his various collaborations. I think previously in my mind I had separated social practice art from other more "artistic" types of art, but Freyer's lecture really changed how I saw that kind of work. He described the intent and content and meaning of his art projects in much the same way as someone could describe the content of a painting or drawing. That really resonated with me, and made me recognize the importance and value that social practice art has, partly because of the inherent interaction with people and partly because of the uniqueness of it. While Social Practice Art hasn't really been something I've thought about, I'm beginning to think it could be something interesting to explore and experiment with.
Freyer's Website: Freyer
Over the past two weeks I've continued to work on my sculpture. After the various pieces were fired, they ended up in sizes that didn't match up quite how I'd originally made them, so it took quite a lot of sanding and scraping to get them to fit together nicely. Then I glued them together with some toxic E6000 and they seem to have held well. Unfortunately, there were a couple gaps and crevices that diminished the overall effect, however, I added caulk to those seams and am now in the process of cleaning that up to make it look nice and intentional. I also have took the canvas off the frame from one of my practice AbEx paintings, and have drilled holes and added eye-hooks around the inside perimeter. Unfortunately, I didn't quite think the process through, and had to remove all the hooks in order to spray paint the frame. The frame and the tree will be painted the same white, while the wires along with the eye-hooks will remain silver.
Visiting the Try-Me Gallery was really different than most of the other field trips we've been on. The collection was much smaller than that of the VMFA, and even though we usually only look at a small part of the collection of a museum, having the contents curated and displayed so carefully was a different experience. The fact that each piece had been bought and chosen to fit into the gallery as a whole gave each piece a new meaning relative to the works around it. There were certainly some pieces there that I did not like, but many more that I really did like, and many which inspired me.
I think one of the things that I was most impressed by was the craftsmanship - especially of the sculptural works. Of course all professional artists make use of good craftsmanship, but the level of perfection and attention to detail was really astounding to me, especially having worked some with sculpture and being able to appreciate the difficulty of maintaining good craftsmanship in three dimensions.
In addition, I was especially inspired by Chiharu Shiota and her wide variety of works. I'd like to look into her more and into her use of thread and yarn. It seems like that style or technique might be applicable to my work too.
Chiharu Shiota's Website
This week I finalized the branches of the tree and left them out to dry completely. I had left a couple to dry on Wednesday, so on Friday I was able to go in with some sandpaper to refine the edges and corners and make sure the geometry of the branches really stood out. Unfortunately, the smaller branches that I formed around the high-temp wire cracked when they shrunk around the wire. However, I will fire them anyway to see how they turn out, and if they don't work, it won't be any great loss. My plan for the foliage is to make it out of a wire - hopefully a thin-ish and shiny wire that I can manipulate to create a kind of canopy effect.
Next I have to choose whether to construct a frame from which to suspend the tree, or just rip the canvas off the frame for my abstract expressionist practice painting.