In the beginning of the semester, we were asked to put together a presentation of 5 slides and explain our overall interests in two or so words. This was an incredibly difficult task.
In order to come up with a solution to this prompt, I thought about the two major elements that are almost always necessary when creating an artwork and chose the words space and time. These words would be the main drive to all my following pieces in the semester.
I first looked at Nancy Holt who was an obvious match in the broader literal definition of space and time. The change in time and landscape worked hand in hand as the rotation of the planets and framing of the concrete channels in the space manipulated our shifting yet controlled perspectives. The simplicity and beauty of the piece fascinated me.
From Nancy Holt’s piece, I then began to think about other ways that give us clues into the passage of time through a landscape. This brought me to look at erosion occurring on rock formations which show how much power an element such as wind and water can have on a sturdy object over time. These images show the remnants of an activity that occurs through cyclic repetitious movement.
After exploring a bit through research and testing out the waters between concept and learning casting processes, I first started playing with smaller rock structures from a river. In the first project I would build off a structure of a rock and only play with the word space.
How can I manipulate space in the simplest terms?
I was inspired by how much I could learn about an object through navigating its surface with victory brown wax by manipulating its positive and negative space though forming the wax to the rock. The structure did not inflict on the wholeness of the rock. It was additive and could be removed at any time.
This exploration informed my next piece where I collected peach pits from my mom’s peach tree. I felt an intimate connection to these pits through the journey from our garden, to a paper bag lugged from a distance to school and the meat of the fruit into my body.
I am left with a solid core - another intricate structure this time small enough to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. By casting these, I am freezing them in their process to either grow or deteriorate and instead preserving the insides. Through this process I was interested in the subtle connections between the peach and the body.
My goal is to create a glass structure such as a simple dome to cover the pits and incase the pits within fresh peach without the original core so that we slowly see the peach deteriorate and the pit change color. The bronze pit is permanent but the surface color will always be in flux through the deterioration and acidity of the peach within the metals pores.
Through this process, a new relationship is formed between objects.
I then began casting other organic parts from trees such as bark, a stick, and a pod from a particular tree. I was intrigued again with the idea of freezing these objects that have fallen off of a living form.
Instead of decomposing or becoming lost under the forest floor, they are removed and cut off from their destined path and frozen in their current state.
These works began to inform my new piece. I began to pick up on elements such as time and preserving or building a relationship between internal and external structures.
The peach pits are internal -- meat of the peach external
Bark -- external
rock and metal -- externally building a form that is molded to the rock (could resemble the growth of another organism.
I began to search within my immediate surroundings to see resemblance within the structures and themes I had been focusing on through my tests.
How could I intimately connect the body within a landscape? This lead me back to the rock formations. I noticed that some of these eroded formations resembled imagery similar to that of cascading fabric.
This sparked random familiarity within mundane manmade materials. These fragments could be pieces from a cascading dress or a curtain associated to a house, time and place, event or performance.
Thinking about the repetitious movement of how these rocks become eroded, I began to build in a way that was sensitive to the idea of repetition through additive building. I was creating in opposition of what naturally occurs when erosion takes place.
Here, I imitated the gesture of the images of the rocks and molded fabric over the plasticine.
This was part inspired by a Pakistani artist Naiza Khan who I discovered in my art history class. I liked the idea of using a stiff permanent material such as metal to capture something so delicate and the way she exposes the human body within their culture.
At this moment in the process I set out again to search within my surroundings. In the woods I became intrigued with observing lichen as well as other growths such as moss and fungus. The Lichen seemed to be a perfect example of macro micro. Far away it is a small speck that fades out of focus and contributes to a multitude of colors that become apart of the trees and landscape. However, as one focuses up close within these structures, it is a landscape within itself. The space it takes over as well as the space it creates within itself caught my interest. I came back to the studio with a backpack full of moss and a sweater wrapped around my arm with bits of lichen carefully placed inside.
In addition to the fabric piece, I began to set up the lichen for centrifugal casting to see if I could capture the delicacy of these pieces.
I then went back to the bigger piece and placed the moss on the other side of my two part mold to further heighten the interior exterior surface of the object. The inside of the corner is filled with fabric and the outside is covered in moss, a connection to the outside world. The L shape of the object suggests this fabric belongs to the space of a room.
In it’s final state, the metal piece holds, contains, and retains space.
There is an apparent tension in the divide between the inside and the outside by the two opposing organic forms which connect the interior and exterior world through material. The cascading fabric has order to it by the way it is pulled by gravity. The moss on the other side looks as if the sculpture has been uprooted. By casting these forms, the original material looses its malleability and the sculpture turns into a permanent fragment.
To me, the most interesting thing about this piece was this direct divide and how it physically made me feel. I set it up in the space so that it was on its side with the inside towards the window which made it feel like it was holding the light. The back was left in shadows.
In these Lichen images I attempted to produce a patina that resembled its natural coloring.
As the semester ended, I felt it was an abrupt end to my discoveries. I felt that through these processes in casting large and small pieces, I had just begun to hone into both concept and material and why I was creating these objects. Had there been more time, I believe I would have started playing with blending the interior and exterior walls of the fragment by creating voids in the material as well as making a less constrictive space such as a corner. This way I will have more movement which directs our own bodies to move around the piece in the space more freely while being able to look through the sculpture which frames our vision. This idea would add more dynamics and allow a more playful interaction with the piece and consideration within its environment. At different points of the day, the imagery through the voids would change. This future object would also obscure what should be hidden and what is exposed. It would lose the divide between elements related to that of the body and our environment. In my next semester I would like to play with this idea.
Here are more process photos:
Corrine Chase Fall 2015 Junior Foundry
Work made during Junior Sculpture Foundry Fall '15 with Professor Coral Penelope Lambert