The Humming of Objects
A solo exhibition at Emmanuel Gallery, Denver, CO
Curated by Jacquelyn Connolly
The Humming of Objects invites the viewer to consider the nature of objects and their relationships to each other and to humans. Each relationship is unique, a concept exemplified in the artist's handling of the materials. In this installation we consider cycles in nature and the tension in between one moment and place of existence and the next. This tension within the liminal margin can be likened to that of the tension between talking and singing … the humming space.
All work in the main gallery is the result of found and donated objects that have been manipulated, reshaped, melted, cut, unstuffed, bent, and painted in the reformation of a life anew. Additionally, all works in this installation are made from materials connected to people the artist knows, to experiences, and to past artworks. They include: bubble wrap, plastic, foam, wood, bone, stone, paint, fabric, string, and hair. Moving away from their original form, time, and place, these objects become new, and it is only upon close inspection that one might discover their depth and their many parts.
These days when I walk into my studio I find things waiting for me—a carefully folded stack of white fabric, a plastic bag stuffed with bubble wrap, an old Lord and Taylor box labeled “fur” packed with mink scarfs, a complete deer spine in a big, blue Ikea bag…. I call these “studio gifts.”
The materials that comprise this show are these studio gifts, objects I find, bits and clippings left over from past artworks, the building itself, and even the plastic used to paint the other materials. By not treating the constituent parts as precious I am able to manipulate and transform objects in multiple iterations and without hindrance. In the making of these new things and the handling of the materials I intuitively consider the relationship between each object.
Using materials from past projects reconfigured over and over again reinforces a conversation about impermanence, interrelationship, and cycle as seen in nature. I am especially studious of disturbing yet naturally-occurring events or organic states—death being a prime and reoccurring subject.
This installation exists in the humming, tenuous space I often explore. Oscillating between the macro and micro, the internal and external, the organic and synthetic, life and death, the grotesque and beautiful. This unsettled area is a constantly moving target that I continuously set up and aim for in my work.
- plastic used as drop cloth to paint materials used in artworks
- bubble wrap from studio mate used to wrap paintings
- rock from studio mate’s installation
- a church that became a temple that became an art studio that became an art gallery
- rock found by studio mate outside of studio
- branches from a dying Chinese Elm in the artist’s yard
- foam from a sculpture made by the artist in 2009 for a resident artist exhibition at RedLine
- string from installation at First Draft, an exhibition at the Biennial of the Americas in 2013
- fabric scraps from a studio mate
- canvas scraps trimmed from studio mate’s stretched canvases
- part of pig skull from a pig roast at a friend’s wedding reception
- plastic portion cups from studio mate at RedLine given when he moved to go to grad school, melted with a propane torch
- rabbit skin bought at the ARC by studio mate for the artist
- mink scarf that once belonged to studio mate’s grandmother
- stuffing from mink scarf
- packaging material from a studio mate
- graphite drawing on mylar
- brass nails
- latex paint
- spray paint
- fur tuft from unknown animal, once attached to a stick, in a box of items given to the artist by a woman whose dogs the artist walks periodically
- piece of a cane cholla cactus picked up on a hike with friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- shell found on Topsail Beach, North Carolina by a friend on family vacation
- bones from a pig skull from a pig roast at a friend’s wedding reception
- wish bone given to the artist by a studio mate
- nylon string thrown away from an exhibition titled From the Ground Up: Design Here + Now, found in the dumpster behind 516 Arts in Albuquerque, NM while visiting friends
- lamp shade removed from wire frame by studio mate so frame could be used in an installation for a RedLine Gala 2015 table
- wood found on a hike on Jefferson Hill, Park County, Colorado
I invited friends to identify an object in their life that once had personal significance and value and give that object to me. I was especially interested in objects which once possessed strong meaning in the past, but for which that quality has lessened. Even though these objects are no longer valued with the same weightiness they once were, because of their pervious status and place in their life, it did not seem appropriate to simply throw the object away. Instead, I asked my friends to let go of this item to be used in a future artwork, and to formally name me as the object’s care provider. Therefore, I also asked that participants fill out an Object Advance Care Directive (OACD) to communicate and formalize this exchange. The donated objects include:
- 1970’s Argentinian coat made before the Guerra Sucia from two hides of two cows bought by a North American journalist and later given to Lanny DeVuono.
- Angel boy with puppy figurine given to Joel Swanson by his mother when his dog “Smacky” died.
-Rebecca Vaughan’s father’s hair, cut from his head by Rebecca the day after he was pronounced brain dead and the day before his body’s organs were removed for donation.
- A mourning wreath made by Laura Shill from flowers, butterflies, and human hair for Laura’s grandmother, Beverly Ball, after Mrs. Ball’s death in May of 2011.
- Caster wheel from the base of a wall built by Cortney Lane Stell’s father and husband for the exhibition, First Draft, which was part of the 2013 Biennial of the Americas.
- Painted ceramic turtle bought by Conor King as a child, kept over the years, and used in an experimental photography project.
- Small yellow shoes bought in Chinatown in New York City and given to Alicia Ordal by a past lover.
- Painting on stretched canvas by Ian Fisher from his undergraduate painting class with Jerry Kumkel in 2004.
- Super Techno M5064 watch that Kevin Raleigh is not supposed to have, given to him by a man who may have been born in Laredo, Texas, but may not have been.