Sunday, September 30, 2018

Last Words at the Greenville Center for Creative Arts

 (Above:  Last Words, a solo installation at the Greenville Center for Creative Arts.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

The last few solo shows I've installed have challenged me to create giant environments in which viewers can experience the artwork.  Last Thursday, the challenge was different.  The provided space is quite intimate. It is also the first thing one will see upon entering the Greenville Center for Creative Arts.  I knew I needed to sculpt a great "first impression" and it was really fun transforming this area.

Last Words is now on view and will enjoy a reception during the city's "First Friday" on October 5, 2018.   Because I easily have twice the amount of artwork, I could approach this show a little differently.  I had to select work to be hung in "salon style," covering the walls from top to bottom. Size, orientation, color & contract figured into the way each grouping was put together.  My favorite part, however, was spreading the artificial flowers around the perimeter.  Every petal was collected from a cemetery dumpster, dissected, washed and dried.  They really give the area the sensation of walking through a landscape ... a particular one ... a cemetery.  Only six of my sheer chiffon epitaph banners could be hung in order to both facilitate walking traffic through the space but also leaving 18" from every sprinkler-system head attached to the ceiling!  These are just a couple of the interesting ways an installation artist must work!

The two moveable walls also meant that I had to carefully select artwork that left open the gap between them.  This was truly a great experience for me.  Personally, I think the show looks fabulous and that I was very successful in meeting the unique challenges!  Steve and I can't wait to return for the opening reception!

Coinciding with my solo installation is a a group show called Textiles: A History of Expression in which work by artists Alice Schlein (Greenville, SC), Sasha de Koninck (Santa Monica, CA), Beth Andrews (Greer, SC), Kristy Bishop (Charleston, SC), and Meredith Piper (Greenville, SC).

Textiles are obviously the focus for these two shows.  That's why I left all the altered Victorian photo albums, the entire "Angels in Mourning" series, and other works at home.  Yet, the title of my installation is "Last Words", so I brought the Book of the Dead for the centerpiece even though it isn't a textile creation.

 (Above:  The Book of the Dead, an altered 696-page sketch book filled with over 1,200 handwritten epitaphs on watercolored pages.)

Ordinarily, I keep the altered Victorian photo albums on the shelves of the old Victorola that functions as the book's pedestal.

For this show, however, I put eight small Grave Rubbing Art Quilts inside.  I do allow visitors to handle these small pieces and flip the pages in The Book of the Dead.

Even before we left, visitors were engaged!  Thursday was a really good day!

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