I realized that I hadn't posted the four images I've finished all in one place yet. I'm not sure about the third one, which was the first one I did last semester. It's much more zoomed in than the ones I'm working on right now. I think I'll do a couple that are more like that one to see if adding them in will make sense.
They will be gradating from blue and clear and open (like the one on the left) toward darker, cloudy, cluttered and chaotic (like the one on the farthest right).
This all started last July when I, for reasons I can't remember, began to think about prayer flags and did a little bit of research. I liked the idea (and still do) of creating an object that is supposed to emanate good will, which is a really dumbed down summary of prayer flags, I know. I wanted to make objects that would make people feel this good will toward the earth. I thought about different ways to install them (in the forest, in a public space, outside at the show, etc.) but didn't really have any clear ideas of what kinds of images they would have on them.
Then, I had second burst of idea when Eric and I went to Maine. Specifically, when we went on a whale watching tour. Being out on the ocean, surrounded by it, was one of the most incredible things I've experienced. I decided that was the feeling that I wanted my show to give people. A surge of peace and a feeling of vastness. I wanted to use photographs, mostly abstract images of sky and water, printed onto fabric with the big inkjet printer we have here at school to accomplish this.
This has definitely morphed. I decided that it wasn't quite enough to just have pictures on fabric. Initially, I decided that I would use silk organza because of its translucency and its ability to be scoured. When scoured, organza because shinier, more opaque and "silkier." I wanted to shibori the organza using the pole wrapping method and then scour it, so that the parts of the fabric that were resisted would stay the same and the parts that were exposed would become shinier and more opaque. I thought this would be a really nice way to create a layer of pattern on the images, relating them more to textiles. Well, the scouring wasn't really noticeable, which sucked, since I was really excited about how I thought it might look.
I ended up deciding that I would like to not only expose the viewer to a beautiful landscape, but that I would also like to talk about environmental degradation at the hands of humanity. So, that's what the power lines are all about. They represent our collective negative impact on the earth through landscape alteration. I chose power lines for a couple of reasons. The main reason being that they are so pervasive in our lives that we often don't notice them. As objects, they aren't usually on the list of major offenders when it comes to the environment. I think this makes them an even more powerful symbol, reminding us that the small things do matter. It also connects to our (over)use of energy, which is definitely on the list of major offenders. My second reason is that I think the way I'm treating them makes them beautiful. This, initially, kind of camouflages their negativity and makes a little bit more interesting when the viewer begins to really think about what they're looking at, mingling positive and negative feelings together.
The choice of fabric is very important to me. I chose a transparent fabric to stress the fact that everything affects everything else. I had originally intended to group them in a circle-ish shape that was big enough so that people can walk between the panels of fabric. When viewed from any angle, different panels would interact with each other, just as we interact with the world and it interacts with us.
At this point, I have no idea what kind of space I'll be hanging my show in, which will dictate whether I hang them in a grouping like that or if I hang them in a sequence. I feel like doing a gradation kind of forced me to hang them in a line, but maybe not. I need to get them all printed and play along with it. However, if I can't hang from the ceiling and have to use a wall, then I will be forced to hang them in a linear grouping.
Also, the department ran out of my silk organza. One of my teachers ordered it in the beginning of March and Fedex dropped it off on March 13th. It never showed up and when we called Fedex, the woman said the only note of the delivery said, "left at front door." This is Detroit! What was that guy thinking? The delivery address is the dorm building, where the mail room is, and it is open 24/7. What a jerk. So, we ran out. Which means I can't print for a while. Harumph. For now, I can continue to create more images to print, which I would be doing anyway, but it's stressing me out that I can't do anything physical. I can't even figure out my hanging system until I tour the new building, where the show will be, this coming Thursday.
So, that's that. I didn't really intend to write all of this out right now, but it happened anyway. I think an explanation of what the hell all these power line images I keep posting are for is long overdue anyway. Thanks for reading, if you made it all the way through!
What do you think? I'd really like to know your thoughts and reactions.