Friday, December 11, 2015

Merry Christmas: Peace, Love, and Koi

(Above:  Merry Christmas: Peace, Love, and Koi.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

My studio is located at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios.  It is one of thirteen rental studios that surround a large, interior gallery space and atrium available for other artists and art groups to rent for their own exhibitions.  When the public space isn't being rented, the resident artists can hang art on the walls!  Well, the public space isn't being rented for the remainder of 2015!  The resident artists decided to hang "small works".  My wrapped nails are definitely small; and after seeing Jennifer Angus' In the Midnight Garden installation at the Renwick, I decided to pin the nails to the gallery wall ... spelling out "Merry Christmas".

(Above:  Detail of Merry Christmas: Peace, Love, and Koi.)

At first, I was only given half of the largest wall in the main gallery.  Then, I was offered the rest of the wall.  I planned to "write" the words "Peace" and "Joy". While hammering 7/8" beading pins into the nails, Kirkland Smith was deciding what works she wanted to hang on the adjacent wall.  She had several pieces out for consideration, including her triptych of koi.  She didn't hang the koi.  Kirkland's work is created using post consumer plastics.  I asked her if she'd like to hang the koi on the large wall ... joking that "joy" and "koi" rhyme.  Suddenly, the title occurred:  Merry Christmas: Peace, Love, and Koi

(Above:   Detail of Merry Christmas: Peace, Love, and Koi.)

I am very grateful to Christine Wuerthner, a friend from our days as parents of boys attending the Kirov Academy of Ballet.  I was really worried that using the inspiration from Jennifer Angus' installation was somehow "copying" her work.  I was so close to my own work that I never realized that I certainly do have a history of nailing multiple items to a wall!  Just because I've never used geometric patterns doesn't mean I can't do it just because Jennifer Angus does. 

(Above:  Detail of Merry Christmas: Peace, Love, and Koi.)

Christine Wuerthner wrote: Love your blog...Weren't your keys all mounted on a wall? Everything we see or experience is inspiration. What we do with it is what makes it unique. All art gets hung or mounted to something unless it stands free on its own. It's the art that matters...keep creating.  THANK YOU!  I needed to hear this!

(Above:  Detail of Merry Christmas: Peace, Love, and Koi.)

It took approprimately 1,300 pins to create this piece.  I didn't count the hours ... but I enjoyed every one of them.  Believe it or not, I didn't use all the wrapped, rusted nails.  In fact, I have another collection of wrapped, rusted nails that only have off-white yarns.  I keep the colorful ones separated from the monochromatic ones.  Is this compulsive?  Well, of course it is ... but that's one of my favorite way to make artwork.  Alone these nails aren't much, just a trinket.  Together they can make a real statement ...


Please note, this is NOT going to be my final blog post for the year!  It is, however, my wishes for everyone reading this month!


Sandy said...

Love it Susan!
And as I said before, unique to you.
Nails and words. Keys with words.
Very different altogether than the Jennifer Angus' work.
PS yes, separating colours and non-colours is good. Ready for either with the sorting done in advance!

Linda Laird said...

Ab-Fab!!! And completely your own!

Linda Laird

Margaret said...

Susan...Once again: brilliant! Inspired...and so very needed this year: a bit of humour for this holiday season. Hugs!

Wanda said...

It's so simple and powerful! Great! And I am SO happy you wrote the word "Christmas"!! I love the kois in the middle as well. They seem to be swimming among the words. I still can't get over the fact that YOU separate the colorful wrapped nails from the off-white ones. ha ha You never cease to amaze me!!