Joint art show with WeatherGrrrl opens 12 Feb!

Sue and I will soon be hanging our first collaborative art show next week at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) Gallery. The show opens 12 Feb, and there is a reception Sunday, 16 Feb, from 7-8:30pm.

Promo card for the joint show at the PRCA with WeatherGrrrl

In a desperate bid to not to be outdone by our amazing progeny, Sue and I will be hanging our first collaborative art show next week at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) Gallery! The kind folks at the PRCA actually approached us about doing a joint show last year; there really wasn’t time to put it together then, but we agreed to do something this year.

In many ways the “simple” approach would have been a combination of Sue’s recent sculpture and my photography. We really wanted this to be a collaboration, though, and over the course of the year we worked together on a collection of photographs documenting her use of her body (in particular her head) as a canvas. Thousands of photographs were taken (over 7,000 in a single three month period!), forming the source material for the pieces that we’ll be hanging. Sue laid out the tableaus, I shot the hell out of them, and then we worked together to figure out what images to use and how.

Portraiture is one of the oldest of artistic disciplines, often providing an “objective” (or at least objectifying) view of the individual. These images examine an artist, Susan Gilbert, at work, capturing her use of her own head as canvas. Some of the photographs are disconcerting both in their underlying subject, and in their focus and presentation. Some are overtly political in their content, while all comment on how we see those around us and respond to change. No single image is the “true portrait” of the artist; they are all fragments of a whole, distorted by the cultural lens through which they are viewed.

The show includes the biggest photographic prints we’ve ever made (the largest is 60″x40″) and it’s quite something to see the work (and Sue’s head) that huge! We also have a diptych of collages that are 6 feet tall and together over 8 feet wide, so we definitely decided to “Go big or go home!”.

We’ll hang the show next Saturday (8 Feb) and the show will open on the 12th. There will be a reception at the gallery on Sunday, 16 Feb, from 7-8:30pm, where you’ll be able to publicly question our sanity while eating nummy snacks!

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More cool art from WeatherGrrrl

A collection of photos of the pieces that WeatherGrrrl is submitting to this year’s UMM Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition.

My wonderful wife blogs even less often than me(!), but with good reason: She’s making some super cool art. Part of this weekend was spent taking photos of her work. She’s preparing her submissions to the UMM Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, and needed photos for the submissions.

3 photos of Sue's handmade book, "30 days of November"
30 days of November

A lot of her work these days is sculpture, but she is submitting one art book: “30 days of November”. The pages are all “tea sheets”, one from each day in November, 2008. For 2.5 years she’s been documenting every time she’s had a cuppa in a variety of ways, one of which is tipping out the leaves onto a 4×3 inch sheet of paper, which then leaves a stain. The “front” side of each page is the “stain” side, and she then embellished the backs in a number of different ways.

I’ve taken some other photos of the process (10.10am, The aftermath, and Pekoe), and it’s really cool to see a book made out of these. The “triptych” above is what she’s actually submitted for consideration. The shot below didn’t end up in the submission shot, but I liked the way the light worked so I posted it on Flickr anyway.

Photo of Sue's handmade book "30 days of November"
Archeology (Layers of time)
Photo of lost wax aluminum sculture
Solid as (h)air

The other pieces she’s submitting are all metal sculpture, three in aluminum, and one in bronze. One of the cool things about the one to the right is that the top part is made using hair. Sue’s been collecting her hair for quite a while, and she finds that it naturally balls up in interesting ways. Here she’s packed a ball of hair in damp sand and poured in molten aluminum to capture the texture.

The other aluminum pieces were made by carving polystyrene foam, which the molten aluminum replaces. The bronze piece at the bottom was made using a silica mold, and then treated in all kinds of crazy ways to get a patina she was happy with.

Photo of lost wax aluminum sculpture: "Mother and child"
Mother and child
Photo of lost wax aluminum sculpture: "Polar bear"
Polar bear
Photo of bronze sculpture: "Jousting"

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