Friday, July 05, 2013

"Under the Canopy" and a bunch of new "In Box" series pieces.

(Above:  Detail from Under the Canopy, my installation at 701 Center for Contemporary Arts's summer exhibition Interior Spaces.  Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

There are plenty of people who ask me, "Susan, do you ever sleep?"  Of course I do ... generally eight hours or more per night, but last week I lost sleep.  I was worried, anxious, and excited by the unexpected opportunity to hoist The Canopy aloft at 701 CCA (Center for Contemporary Art) and create an related installation under it.  Rarely do local artists get invited to exhibit in this local venue.  Inclusion is considered a "really big deal".  Given a unique chance to expand my work was thrilling ... but also a bit risky.  Would the curator appreciate it?  Would it compliment the exhibition title and theme?  Would the installation go smoothly considering the ceiling is much higher than any of the other locations in which I've raised The Canopy?

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)

Last Sunday afternoon was my scheduled time for installation.  Steve and I arrived precisely on time ... and had The Canopy up inside of a leisure hour-and-a-half.  We made the short trip back to our house, loaded the car with my mismatched furniture, tableware, and assorted found objects in various states of disrepair, and returned to 701 CCA where I truly enjoyed placing everything ... UNDER THE CANOPY ... which is now the new name of the piece.  This took less than an hour.  Steve and I then went for a late lunch and to laugh about how nervous I'd been ... for "nothing" ... since everything went so well.

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)

This morning the show officially opened.  I went to snap photos of my piece and to admire all the wonderful work by so many talented artists surrounding it.  The show is called Interior Spaces and features the following artists:  Kent Ambler, Pam Bowers, Dylan Critchfield-Sales, Yvette Dede, Paul Flint, Meg Griffiths, Stephen Hayes, Susan Lenz, Frank McCauley, Glen Miller, Jaime Misenheimer, Frank Poor, Kristi Ryba & Christian Thee.

(Above:  Installing exhibition labels.  Cleo, a 701 CCA summer intern with Harriett Green, Visual Arts coordinator at the South Carolina Arts Commission and volunteer at 701 CCA, an institution that she helped found.)

Happily, there were other people admiring the work.  A family came through to look at art while Cleo and Harriett finished up installing the labels for the work on display.  The exhibition runs through August 18th.

(Above:  Under the Canopy ... as seen from the entrance to 701 CCA.)

Taking pictures was so much fun.  I hadn't been able to do this last Sunday because the nice, big windows face west.  The afternoon sun provides great natural lighting ... but it also makes taking photos difficult!

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)

The reception is this coming Thursday.  I'm very excited.  My "statement" for this work was on last week's blog post.  CLICK HERE to read  ....just scroll down!

(Above:  Under the Canopy, assemblage of found objects.)

I'm particularly excited to see people's reactions to the collection of found objects ... mismatched furniture, symbols of passing time, assorted relics from yesteryear ... many of which include small additions of my work.

(Above:  Pedestal created from Swedish leather bound books and a cover from a late 19th c. book of chromolithographs ... with a vintage clock, a jar of buttons, etc.)

I loved making this pedestal ... drilling through mid-19th century leather bound books (all in terrible condition) and inserting a metal rod for support.

The top of the pedestal is the cover of a large, late 19th century book ... beautifully tooled with decorative gold leaving.  Between the covers I inserted copies of Harper's Bazar ... all mid-19th century.  This became the location for a hand embroidered doily, a jar of vintage buttons and other assorted items ...

... including a clock key.  I made a special "tag" ... The Key to Time.

On the nearby table I placed another key ... The Key to Family Heirlooms.  It sits with a vintage, homemade hour glass, a rosary, two embroidered handkerchiefs, and badly tarnished tea service piece with dried flowers from our garden.

One of my altered antique photo albums got to be part of the installation.  Instead of family pictures, I collaged various images of cemetery angels.  I've got something like seven of these altered albums. 

Near the Victorian chair is this basket with croquet balls and my tiniest, altered doll cradle filled with "ancestors".  These wrapped-and-embellished wooden spools are so much fun to make.

I put a pile into this covered porcelain dish on one side of the end table.

On the other side, I simply piled up about two dozen more "ancestors" in the folds of the damaged lace table cloth.

Looking closely ... There's my Aunt Gloria on her wedding day, two photos of my Grandma, Uncle Larry and Grandpa on a fishing trip, my Mom and Dad before they were married sitting with Grandma ... and even one with two of my younger sisters and me!  These truly are "ancestors"!  At the bottom of this post are even more photos of my work at Interior Spaces ... just scroll down.

Yet, this isn't the only thing I've done this past week!  Far from it!  After all, I have two major retail shows coming up in November:  The Washington Craft Show and the Philadelphia of Art Museum Craft Show.  I will be making LOTS of work in the coming weeks and months ... LOTS of "faux-stained glass" series and "In Box" series pieces.

(Above: In Box CVIII, detail of signature block.)

In the last week, with my studio assistant Jeana's help, three large "In Box" pieces and four small ones were totally created, melted, mounted, and framed!  Above is a detail of the signature block on one of the larger pieces. All these images can be enlarged though ... and more are coming.  I've already started working on eight "Window" pieces ... small ones that resemble "stained glass".  I'm planning on finishing them by Wednesday of next week. Thursday is the reception and hopefully I'll get a few good photos then.  Friday ... Steve and I head to Washington, DC to see The National Symphony Orchestra at Wolftrap ... playing Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and my all-time favorite music:  Karl Orff's Carmina Burana.  Saturday will find me attending the artist reception of Sacred Threads exhibition in Herndon.  Work, work, work!  Play, play, play!

(Above: In Box CIV.)

So ... below is a mixed up collection of new work and Under the Canopy.  I'm also linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site to share fiber arts.

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)

(Above: In Box CV.)

(Above: In Box CVI.)

(Above: In Box CVII.)

(Above: In Box CVIII.)

(Above: In Box CX.)

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)

(Above:  Under the Canopy at 701 CCA.)


Roberta said...

Every time I see that canopy I keep thinking about what a wonderful chuppah it would make.

Wanda said...

Let me start out by saying that the In The Box Piece(s) are outstanding. They are truly unique pieces, each one different and yet the same. Now..on to the canopy. Your Under The Canopy Installation takes my breath away. I re-read your Statement while looking at the Images and is perfect. It really does look like a Fantasy...a secret place to go when the real world becomes too much. The last Image is great...just that secret place, under the canopy, and sunlight through the Windows. Nothing else exsists. You've managed to capture a dream and share it with the world. I know that you sleep...and you sleep good (even in moist Sheets...and you know what I mean) and I understand that you sometimes can't sleep because of anticipation, excitement and worry. But sleep good tonight.

Martha said...

The complete installation of Under the Canopy is amazing in its simplicity, detail, and depth, drawing the viewer back into a time that connects us to our family and roots, wherever they might be. The explanation of creating the book-table (drilling through for a rod) is fascinating and further example of your brilliance in presentation. Such lucky people to get to be at the opening/reception! Lucky you for getting to be at Wolftrap and Sacred Threads opening! Hope to vicariously enjoy with you through your future posts! Thanks for the journey!
Martha Ginn

Judy Ferguson said...

There is just no one like you, Susan. You are one of a kind. Love all the Canopy ideas.

Margaret said...

I love this latest "doirama" Under the Canopy! The tea cups and linens included strike a I have so many of my own, tied into family memories. Thank you and best wishes for continued success!

Els said...

Love the installation, Susan !
I hope a lot of visitors will enjoy seeing (and walking under) your wonderful "Canopy" work ;-)

Anonymous said...

The layered significances and meanings in every item make this piece a complete joy and I love that the different memories and perceptions of each watcher will make their response to it personal. A triumph!!