Wednesday, June 18, 2014

foundation OBRAS

I'm now in the middle of week three of my month long residency at Foundation OBRAS in Portugal. Here's what I've been working on:

I designed a giant "azulejos" pattern and turned it into a stencil which I used to paint on the wall of the former Evora Monte train station (now closed to passenger trains since 1988 and cargo trains since 2011).

The two plants I chose for the pattern are endemic to the area... the Esteva (no English translation, but a kind of rock rose), which grows like a weed here. The flowers are white with yellow centers and dark purple-red blotches on each petal, and the leaves are very sticky. The other flower is a beautiful kind of plume thistle.

The walls of the room I chose in the station (out of two accessible ones) were literally crumbling as I painted them. See the pieces of wall in the corner?

Nearby Estremoz is known for its marble, and many buildings were built from gorgeous chunks of it. We went to some marble quarries and took the scraps that were apparently deemed unworthy for the market.  I've been drawn to long, loaf-like pieces. 

For the piece above, I was inspired by a hike some of us took to an overlook where there are old holes that were long ago carved into the rock. No one knows quite what their purpose was, but it's fun to guess. It's thought by some they were used for shamanistic purposes. 

I'm making these marble sculptures that have very specific (and strange) functions to leave around the landscape. Maybe someday, someone will find it and wonder what that ancient carver (me) made it for.
The one above is made to hold nespera (loquat) seeds. The one below is still in progress and is meant to be a snail forum.

I checked back this morning to see if the test snail I put there stayed. Unfortunately, it ran away...but I still like the idea of special holes for snails. 

I'm also working on a video of ants fighting, but I had trouble loading it, so you'll have to see it later. Até logo.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

a work in progress

I'll keep this brief, but I wanted to share one of my projects here. Other projects from last semester can be viewed here on my website (the still-in-progress brick project, neighbor hood book, conversation collaboration, and koti pizza). Unfortunately, I haven't had time to provide contextual information for those yet.

This project is currently taking up most of the space in my studio. I realized yesterday that it needs more work, so it's officially a work-in-progress again. Yes, that is a giant air plant in it!
It's been a very busy semester. Open studio day feels like it was ages ago, and that was the last time I wrote a post here. So, there is approximately only one month left before summer break, which means I'm almost half way done...and I still have so much to do.

More to come in the future! Thanks for checking it out.

Monday, January 27, 2014

open studios

Two copies of Neighbor Hood left out for visitors to peruse
2014 MFA Open Studios. Photo by Stan Strembicki.

{To see photos of people milling about and of other students' work, visit this photo gallery}

the handmade bricks (and some windows I procured this week)

the cookies went fast