This Friday, July 22nd, 6pm-9pm, artists talk and hands-on show and tell, and launch party for this month’s edition on LxWxH.
Part of the platform for my interactive residency at The Project Room is to share the works of others who have inspired me, taught me things about where my new work needs to go, and to record, through interviews, the multi-layering of influences we all thrive on as makers. I’m pleased to announce my first guest artists into the Solstenen project gallimaufry! Amanda Manitach, Derrick Jefferies, Ellen Garvens and Sharon Arnold.
The entirety of my mission for the Solstenen project is to spread open how art comes from nothing into somethingness, particularly focused on my process right at hand of creating new work. Nothing to something always has a spark, a kick, a jolt. The work I am heading towards now began as a metaphoric stone in my pocket, a story; this, mixed with a whole slew of previous barely-formed ideas that trailed behind other work of mine like smoke. But the one moment that kicked me into pulling all those tiny threads toward one goal was getting an invite from artist Amanda Manitach to participate in a show she was forming with Derrick Jefferies and Ellen Garvens called ‘Defornament’. Immediately I knew I wanted in, even just based on the title. The assiduous attention and playfulness of how language lodges sensation in the body seemed to have Amanda’s hand in it (though I don’t know who came up with the title); the combine of Deform and Ornament is both an awkward mouthful, seemingly unrefined, yet elegant in how decisively it describes all of our work.
There are these many threads of connection between all of our practices and works, though on the surface it might not appear so, and it was precisely that surface dissonance that attracted me like a magnet to this group ( and so thankful to not have my work examined solely by its material content: fabric ). Instead we were connected by threads of double illusions of what is natural and unnatural, the fragmented body, the quiet mundane as the site of the transformative, maddeningly obsessive labor, a tension between memorial and the absolute transient nature of everything. These people make me think.
This made-up word Defornament (a fabricated actuality, even in the title) seemed to describe to me what I have been doing to bodies for a few years, creating wearable sculptures so large and so heavy, that the central action of the performers wearing them was of struggle. Not just decorating those virtuoso performers, but forcing them into a relationship of physical reckoning with what usually is only meant for ornament (the costume). Sometimes, watching these works performed, I had the uneasy feeling I was asking others to do my work for me.
The labor, the struggle of the body against external forces we take on to make out identity; it was about my body. With Defornament in mind, suddenly my labor was laid out in front of me. Unfortunately, very quickly we realized because of a previous commitment I couldn’t be in the show. But the path in my view was still there, and has become the Solstenen project — mantles of stone and Albatross monstrously large dresses.
I was totally wrecked I couldn’t be in the show, but now the synchronicity of ‘Defornament’ running through July 30 and my residency at The Project Room just beginning this month, I’m giddy about having these people come in and share what they’ve accomplished, just as I’m beginning my work.
And finally the cherry on top is artist/writer/instigator/ organizer Sharon Arnold’s project LxWxH just happens to, this month, feature Amanda and Derrick along with some stunningly gorgeous words by writer D.W. Burnam. So were throwing a launch party for this month’s art box.
Sharon will be on hand with previous additions of LxWxH as well, Derrick will be doing a hands-on show and tell of how he grows his crystals and selling some pink lemonade rock candy and maddeningly realistic candy jewelry. Derrick, Amanda and Ellen will be showing images about the process behind their works, in-line with the Project Room question of 2011/2012 of “Why Do We Make Things”, as well hanging some additional works from their Defornament work.
Come join us for the conversation and comradery! It will inform a later written profile about these artists for the Solstenen series of artist interviews, and I need your voice!
More about ‘Defornament’ from the Soil website, running through July30th, 2011:
“Defornament presents three artists whose work address corporeality, ornamentation, and transformation of commonplace into the extra-ordinary. Objects and images shift into visual uncertainty and liminality through cloaking, cropping, layering and piling, the familiar becoming unrecognizable.
Derrick Jefferies’ new photographic and sculptural works are inspired by luxe forms found in the mineral world, appropriating readily found materials to create semi-precious knock-offs.
Amanda Manitach’s new installation of drawings emphasize rhythmic blotting and an interruption of rocaille excess.
Ellen Garvens’ photographic treatments use isolation and an absence of the total figure to meditate on the sensuousness of the ordinary.
Derfornament explores the space between material reality and illusion, repulsion and attraction, clarity and obscurity.”
LxWxH features original work by two Seattle artists and a short essay by a local writer. By collaborating with Seattle artists and writers, LxWxH provides an avenue to bring people together and collect art in an affordable and approachable way.
Mission: to create a bridge between the artists, writers, and you in an approachable, accessible, sustainable manner supporting your local community and allowing you to begin collecting original pieces of work by local talent.