We meet again with one of our Artists to Watch 2016 to see what she’s been up to since we last illuminated her work.
What have you been up to in the last nine months since we spoke?
Well, let’s see… it’s been a busy year so far. At the very beginning of the year, the dead of winter, I hibernated, planned new projects, and snuggled with my three dogs. In the spring, I did a residency at the Mass MoCA studios in North Adams, MA through a cool organization called Assets for Artists. While I was there, I started on the lion’s share of work for the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park and Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) Biennials coming up this fall, and met a group of super talented artists and equally good people.
Shortly after that, my day job as a producer for a small creative branding agency brought me to Munich and the Alps, a place I had never been, and was promptly blown away by those mountains! In late spring/early summer I had work in group shows at Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, and George Marshall Store Gallery in York, Maine. Also, I got really into container gardening this year, and built a vertical planter, which I’ve wanted to do for years.
In late summer, I found out I was the 2016 recipient of an Artist Advancement Grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and I could not be more grateful and excited! And here we are—at present, I’m mentoring a few students this semester as part of the New Hampshire Institute of Art low-residency MFA program, finishing up work for the CMCA biennial, starting new work for a solo show at Carroll and Sons in Boston during late January, and looking forward to the deCordova Biennial opening on Oct. 6th.
What can visitors expect to see from you during the upcoming biennials at the deCordova and CMCA?
The work that I have in the deCordova Biennial is all new, and mostly new at CMCA. In the last year, my work has been very focused on landscape and ecology—and connecting these subjects conceptually with everyday objects, and asking questions like: How do everyday objects in the domestic realm relate to a natural landscape? How does our everyday world expand and connect to a larger framework? I am working with the Life Nature Library book series a lot this year—making painted trompe-l’oeil objects that look like the books, and at the same time are asking—is this a landscape painting? As well as making drawings where I copy the entire index of these books and am asking—is this a landscape drawing? Examples from this body of work is in both Biennials.
What is your art—whether a recreation of a rug, phone book, beach chair, or some other everyday object—trying to communicate?
I want my work to inspire viewers to look closer at everyday life. I want to help educate perception. I think that we can find wonder in the everyday, if only we just slightly shift our view, keep our eyes open, and are willing to see the connection between things. I want to make work born from this place and have it inspire in others a desire to interact with the tangible/ physical world. To roam, to touch, to seek, to ask questions and to have reverence for the history that is contained in places, and also the grandeur of nature and this planet we inhabit.
Drawing great attention to the unremarkable calls into question what can be considered precious and worthy of investigation. Rooted in observation and taking the form of drawings, painted objects, and installations, my work aims to bend perceptions of the things we recognize and experience as common and everyday, thus creating a deeper awareness of the experience of “seeing,” and allowing for unexpected connections to be made between concept, materials, and the iconography of objects. As much an experiment with materials as a behavioral study of the familiar and analog, my work engages the viewer in an active game of questioning perceptions by dissecting, duplicating and mimicking the objects, underlying patterns and organizing systems that make up the backdrop of our lives.
The term ‘Trompe L’oeil’ literally means “to fool the eye” but I like to think of it as meaning “pay attention, look closer, have awareness, alter your perception.” If my work can disarm the viewer and cause them to truly be in present time for just a moment when they are looking at my art, that’s what I consider a successful piece.
Undoubtedly a lot of time goes into each of your pieces. Can you describe the process?
At its beginning/discovery phase, it is non-linear, experimental, and subject to chance. Once a project is underway my process slows and becomes more about the repetitive and meditative.
My background is in painting, and I guess at some point, I wanted to allow myself the freedom to think outside of one particular media, and only two dimensions. Once I gave myself that permission, I realized that there are lots of materials I want to work with and learn about, and lots of different objects in the world that I was curious about. I think keeping that sense of wonder and curiosity alive about the everyday stuff and sites of life are what drive me to make work.
I will come across “perfect objects” out in the world, and these things have often been used, like an old beach chair or map, and I like to dissect them, figure out how they were made, and how they behave. I combine that with an interest in materials themselves—like loving the way hand-folded metal looks, or how multiple lines drawn on paper can add up to mimic thread or woven textile—and I make honest work about it. I look, handle, inspect and recreate in an effort to understand. Deception is not the major goal—it’s understanding. That process is everything to me. The final piece is like an artifact of this investigation.
My process of recreating objects to mimic the original is derived from a desire to really understand how an object behaves, how it is made, and how it causes or reacts to human encounters. I’m also interested in how the process of repetitive mark making has a rhythmic, satisfying, meditative quality.
Top photo second multi-rag rug, ink and correction fluid on paper, 2014 | 34h x 46w | Photo courtesy of the Carly Glovinski