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Monday, June 2, 2014

"Bouquet" at the Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Center

BOUQUET at the Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Center, May 05-17, 2014
Photo courtesy of Cynthia Naggar

Bouquet,  wall installation, mixed media, 140 cm  x 340 cm x 10 cm, 2013-14
May has been a very busy month for me! For the first two weeks, I was fortunate to install my Bouquet project in the Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Center in Sackville, NB.  At the same time, I worked on new low relief thistle forms to add to the large format drawings and I finished my Bouquet for Butterflies mixed media drawing.  My studio is too small for me to see the work in this context, so I appreciate the large white walls and open space of the gallery that much more.  (The yellowish cast to the photograph above seems to be due to the temperature of the spotlight bulbs.  I will have some better photos soon.)

Garden panels, acrylic and paper on panels and plywood,  25  x 20  x 4 cm to 58 x 36 x 10cm, 2013
Potential, based on lupine pods, adds interest to the line up of 10 x 8 in. panels. The set seems more successful than single pieces exhibited individually. 

Thistle Forms, plywood, 2014
I discovered that my new low reliefs based on thistle drawings were successful as a new wall sculpture.  I am planning to make more pieces to fill the wall and extend across the floor towards the viewer.  I have been cutting the forms on a scroll saw and assembling them with doweling. No two forms are the same.  It's fairly labor intensive, but the result is worth the effort.

Thistle Forms, wall installation, plywood, 2014
Thistle Forms will spread across the wall and floor and possibly acquire a better title in the process!

Bouquet for Butterflies, mixed media on paper,140 x 91 cm, 2014
 One viewer commented that you have to really look at this work to find the butterflies. I have noticed that viewers become engaged with this series and offer interesting reflections on it. I was glad to spend so much time in the gallery where I interacted with many visitors.

Installation at the Struts & Faucet, photo courtesy of Cynthia Naggar
My large format drawings install onto thin wooden brackets with "Velcro" fasteners.  The system works well, but the brackets have to follow the irregular placement of burned holes in the drawings. This means that each drawing has to be measured separately in order to coordinate its brackets and to keep them invisible once the work is on the wall.  Installation took me longer than I had anticipated.  It's something to keep in mind for the next time.  Another consideration is the fragility of the paper's surface.  

If this work were exhibited in a museum or a busy gallery, I would cover it with large sheets of thin Plexiglass, screwed to the wall.  I'm not really up for framing at this point.  It's expensive and difficult to transport.  The drawings roll up and fit inside a large tube.  I pack the low reliefs in bubble wrap in two suitcases.  The "Garden" panels also fit in one of the suitcases.

Once it was all taken down and I finished filling in holes in the wall and touching up paint, I went back to working on my submissions again!