The Multivalence of Materiality: The work I produce is derived by the syntax of material. Through the action of separating natural and man-made elements from their environment, and creating potential composition after living with these elements in my studio, I create dialogues between the objects, forming connections and relationships that lie within my controlled arrangements. My adopted materials become momentary paintings that eliminate the concern of having a deliberate beginning and a conclusion, ultimately embracing happenstance and open-ended transformation.
Focusing on form follows material, I choose to work with materials simultaneously to identify agency. Concrete, foam, wood, charcoal and moss are examples of the materials that I come into contact with on a daily basis. Each one of these materials has practical functions. My intention as the maker/artist is to remove a material’s functional identity, and allow the elements to communicate together as I live with them over time. As long as this conversation continues, the potential exists for the work to change.
Negotiation 2018, is an installation piece that is 13x4’, consumed by individual dirt formations. Components of my studio practice are crumpled and absorbed by collected dirt and soil. These components consist of notes, strips of old paintings, rocks, and photographs. The installation itself is nailed and assembled in 4 rows, with an additional row stopping mid sentence to indicate a future continuation. There is no specific distance between the individual clumps of dirt, as I continue to place them along each other as a documentation of my time spent in the studio.
As I collect, observe and assemble my choices and decisions are guided by my sensations. Working in such an intuitive manner, I am able to expand what I see as intrinsic connections between various materials ultimately leading to new areas of investigation. As a traditionally trained painter, such an approach can be daunting, but at the same time, exciting and liberating.
Multivalence of Materiality is a documentation my artistic process. Through the action of separating the landscape from its landscape, collecting natural and manufactured materials— I create a dialogue between the objects, forming connections and relationships, that lie in each of their found arrangements. My adopted materials become momentary paintings, by eliminating the concern of having a deliberate beginning and ending of a work, but rather embracing their own happenstance and ongoing transformation.
This exhibition investigates my conversation between craft and aesthetic discourse. Concrete, foam, wood, charcoal and moss are examples of the materials that I encounter on a daily basis. Each one of these materials has a practical function. My intention, as the maker— as the artist, is to remove a materials functional identity, and allow the elements to communicate together, as I live with them over time. As long as this conversation continues, the potential exists for the work to change.
I am constantly seduced by memories and physical senses. As I collect, observe and assemble my choices and decisions are guided by my sensations. Working in such an intuitive manner, I am able to expand what I see as intrinsic connections between various materials, ultimately leading to new areas of investigation. As a traditionally trained painter, such an approach can be daunting, but at the same time, exciting and liberating.
A collection of selected photographs, taken over 2 years of airplane travel. Each photograph is delicately printed on handmade paper assembled into an intimate book, embossed with the title "Wish You Were Here", while photographs occupy the left, right, or both facing pages. Each photo is dedicated to a specific destination, a specific moment, or a specific encounter.
Is there some deep meaning behind the need to transform these generic airplane captures, into an object for people to interact with? The answer is no...there is no need, but my own need to express my unapologetic nature to expose parts of me I struggle with.
Currently my studio process has been delving into the pleasure of working with materials on an intimate level. Lately I have been working with specific materials such as fine wire, charcoal, plaster and ash to create minature sculptures. These sculptures are created to eliminate the ideal horizon line that landscape is comfortable with, and instead bring an ambiguous presence to these intimate displays. This is just the start to a relationship that I am forming, conceptually and materially.
EXCITING NEWS EVERYONE...next stop: Iceland. Awhile ago I landed upon some pretty solid tickets to Iceland, so doing what I do best..I splurged and spontaneously purchased a flight with a vague itinerary. A small crew and I will be taking on the beautiful terrain of what Iceland has to offer for 9 days. We are stoked and completely prepared for what Mother Nature throws our way...well, for the most part. We rented a dope vehicle, a badass tent, backpacking essentails, camera gear packed, traveling painting kit assembled, and endless curiosity ready to delve into whats ahead for the next week.
I'm fortunate to have two weirdos joining me on this little experience. Both are two wonderful creatives who capture beautiful moments with a lens. Marshall - @droptheframe and Megan- @newtogger. I Couldn't ask for a more solid crew to make memories with.
Our mission is to bebop across the area and discover as much as we can. The most logical thing would be having a secure day by day plan, however, life is unpredictable and so are we...so we are playing each day by ear with a list of destinations- plus, randomly camping out on the side of the road isn't a daunting situation for us. For the past few months, life has thrown a lot of madness my direction, so I'm treating my broke ass to some well needed adventure time - avoiding all my other responsibilities back in NC. Side note: since our rental has wifi (cause we're millenials with technology issues), I'll be documenting our rampage throughout the week on Instagram.
I'm anxious to see how this experience will influence future work. See ya later America.
My life is currently being eaten by the amount of work I've been doing in the studio...on a lighter note...I survived my first year of grad school, so I guess thats a positive to all of this. Working on 15 pieces at once seemed like an unbearable task, however, it's a little enthralling. Majority of the work stays consistent with style and my color palette doesn't adventure far, but I find it easier to lay out idea's and the execution of the subject matter becomes immediate. The only thing I find myself struggling with are the size of the pieces. All of my work has revolved around a certain size, typically 24x48" and up, in this case, I'm working with panels around 16x20" - nothing reaching past 24x36". To me this size change is challenging to plan out a composition that fits within these parameters, in a way that I imagine it. Overall, I'm making it work to my advantage. This body of work will have about 12 pieces on canvas/panels, and 6 works on paper. With the works on paper, I'm looking forward to showing those in a space other than in the studio - since they have never seen walls outside of here. I feel like I am circling back to my previous work however, which is nostalgic in its own way, but I almost feel as if I'm cheating on the work I should be moving towards in this program. I have about one week left to finish up this collection for my show- once the beginning of June hits...I will be starting a project that excites me for this coming semester. I will try my best to keep y'all updated on that, just be aware that It will be a trial and error process...a lot of trial and error...like an insane amount, but I'm ready for that. The next few months of my life will be packed with random events as well, I'll be making my way back to the midwest for a few weeks, while also having the opportunity to camp out in MT for a while before making the drive back to NC late July. I've had an extremely hectic academic year, so why not continue the mess with a hectic summer...keeps life interesting.
For those who know me personally... you know that I am not a writer, nor have the intentions of being a writer, and for those who don't know me...I am a horrible writer, grammar confuses me sometimes, and I tend to use my own made up language...so I encourage you to not point it out and just accept what you are putting yourself through, thank you. As you can figure out, I go by Britta, and I'm simply an artist with an indecisive soul trying to navigate my way through life. With that in mind, be aware that I am only here to ramble about my studio practice and awkward encounters, just to keep anyone who cares posted that I am surviving in the world.
Let me catch you up on how I got myself into the situation I am currently in: Last May I graduated with a double major in Art Education and Studio Art. Since I wasn't satisfied enough with those degrees, I decided to bail out of the midwest and take on graduate school in North Carolina. Coming from the midwest, especially North Dakota, it's always been a goal to get out and live somewhere, well... more stimulating and less flat. Moving 1600 miles to a place where you know absolutely no one, definitely alters your world drastically. I lost contact with a lot of people, I felt claustrophobic as hell - due to the lack of an open sky, my accent became a point of interest, and my anxiety levels decided to say fuck you for the next several months. Although, making that grad school leap was the best thing to ever happen. I mean, other than the fact I willingly committed my sanity to an institution that makes me question my entire existence, to the point where I don't even know why I bother trying to make it as an artist in todays world...Uffda. Yeah, other than that little caution sign, I don't know what I'd being doing right now if I wasn't here. My pessimistic attitude towards situtations took a 180 into appreciation due to a range of opportunities that fell into place. For example: the benefits of moving across the country to a place where you are a stranger to everyone...is the fact that you are a stranger to everyone. That also goes along with those who excel in the introvert lifestyle like me, you know going out of your way to meet people is exhausting, however I did manage to assemble a small crew of creative individuals, who I don't know what I'd do without. As for feeling claustrophobic, that hasn't changed, it's like you're living in a forest...which I absolutely admire, but once in awhile seeing a clear sunset or storm roll in would be lovely. The accent thing I've just learned to deal with, I like to think it makes whatever I have going for me a tad more interesting. Fun fact: if you are from the north, anywhere near Canada at least, you're basically a unicorn to those in the south.
So what have I taken away during my first year in a grad program? Simple...learn to create an alter ego that appears to have your life together...meanwhile, this will give you enough time to pick up bits and pieces of your unorganized life before you graduate.