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Visible / Invisible

August 24, 2009

Last week I prepared a presentation for the curatorial, design and pattern-making teams at Urban Art Projects (UAP) to flesh out my background, my most recent project and my hopes for the UAP 2009 Mentorship Residency.

It was really interesting putting this information together. In a small moment it gave me an overwhelming sense of what I have achieved over the past 20 years. All the projects, exhibitions, installations and temporary works… It showed a clear pathway in my development and how themes in my work had evolved through my personal and physical travels.

It also helped me identify something quite peculiar, that is, artists are much like actors, unless they are working on a project or have visible presence of their efforts before them, they can find it hard to validate their ‘place’.

This all brings me back to an illuminating conversation I had years ago with a French actress when I lived in Paris. At the time, she was out of work. She told me that if she wasn’t performing, she didn’t feel alive. Unless the play was documented, it was no longer visible after its run and it was like it never existed. Yet, even though all the emotions that went into the rehearsals and performances built into her psyche and evolved her, the proof of that evolution was gone. Invisible.

So, in that moment of playing back my presentation, I realised that I too have experienced some of what she expressed. In some ways however, it is quite different for artists/designers as part of our process is to document, solidifying memories of the work’s evolution and it’s final incarnation. While we definitely experience post-exhibition ‘blues’ (see previous post), our work is often more tangible, even the ephemeral works.

With all that said, my Mentorship Residency at UAP will be well documented, leaving checkpoints throughout the process. And, these visual and oral signposts will hopefully show the sum of the parts of a greater whole at the culmination of the project.

My aim is to really push myself in new ways through this opportunity through the Three E’s.

To EXPERIMENT by pushing the limits of my designs conceptually, in ways I haven’t even thought of yet and get out of my comfort zone… Think radically!

To EXPLORE new materials and gain an understanding for how I can begin to translate my ideas into these materials – materials that push my concepts.

To EXTEND and challenge myself within my practice to extract the possibilities for 3D from the two-dimensional.

This coming week I get my mind fired up with lots of brainstorming through the initial concept development phase.

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