Sunday, November 16, 2008

My other life...

After a recent back and forth of e-conversations with my friend down in North Carolina, Keith Phillips, I decided that I do in fact have something to post see, I feel like I have not been getting in the studio like I should...not making work, period. Not making work...well, lets see, how can I put SUCKS. There is a number of reasons that contribute to my lack of productivity, but the biggest is the J-O-B. I honestly should not complain, times are tough and I am lucky to be working and especially lucky to be working within my field. I work as a half time Associate Professor teaching the 101 classes that nobody else wants to teach and I am also the Director for the art department's gallery. So you see, its not that bad...and in fact the gallery gig is pretty interesting. So I decided to post about the show that I am about to take down...Alastair Noble's installation...Babel / Random Access. I feel it is my job to provide a variety of interesting media in the gallery...something a little different, edgy, challenging... and challenging this exhibit was to many.

The piece was an installation that he configures based on the space that it will be shown in...the content of the work centers on a story by Jorge Luis Borges about a library that goes on and on forever and is housed in the tower of Babel. All of Mr. Noble's work is informed by literature and seems to be what obsesses him. This piece consists of standing panels that are printed with fragmented text taken from the likes of Blake, Poe, and Mallarme...the configuration allowed the viewer to wander through this hexagonal labyrinth and read the broken bits of text. The panels opened to the viewer as if they were open books standing on end and the light created an interesting effect on the tight mesh fabric. The illuminated transparency of some of the panels created new layers of meaning and worked well in contrast to some that were opaque.

I enjoyed my time with Mr.Noble during the install and dragging him around to speak with all our grad students too...he was patient, easy going, and good to have a pint or two with. The work perplexed some who only know their art as hanging on a wall or sitting on top a pedestal, but that is why it is important to have work that is challenging to the norm. Art exists in so many forms these days and as I lecture to my students, its very difficult to put a neat definition after the question, "what is art?". So, you see gentle reader, what I have come to realize is that my own work takes many forms as well...I am not always in the studio at the wheel...sometimes the studio is just in my head... and I am sometimes pecking away at the computer working on images or working closely with other artists helping put together exhibitions...whatever I am doing I should understand that I am fortunate to be doing it in the arenas I am interested in...thanks to those who inspired this post...Keith's Uncle Gravy and also my buddy here JR Sherburne...until next time...hope your work is satisfying, no matter what your work is.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

are you kidding me...

Snow in late happened this past week...Tuesday and Wednesday before Halloween were a sign of things to come perhaps. It didn't last and did not stick much and by the afternoon on was gone. But for a few days and nights it got real cold and whatever in the garden that had not been frosted, did not escape this cold snap. Although this last bit of weather was the killing blow to anything left in the garden, on my way to to the office this week, I was struck by the beauty of the effects of the freeze. Probably like any other potter out there, I have bowls and pots that litter my flower beds and deck. I'm always interested in what has collected in the bowls laying around...or better yet, what my daughter has deposited in the bowls. With all the precipitation and cold weather the contents in the bowls became moments of swirling and floating materials frozen into a still frame. With the sun bright and not too high above, the interiors started to melt and the bubbles became a cool element in the icy landscapes. Enjoy was a great looking morning and the light was perfect...most of the snow had melted and that brief winter moment had passed...but I know its just a glimpse of the future.