4.21.2014

Home Studio as Laboratory and Inspiration



It's hard to believe that one week from today I'll start installing my solo exhibition into the gallery. And it's even harder to believe that two weeks from today the opening weekend will be behind me and the live performance will be finished. This is the point in any project where my studio doubles as a storage unit--a staging area for the objects and artwork before they move from my work space into the gallery.

I like how they become part of my home--mingling with my domestic life and with the comings and goings of my family. It's one of the things I like the very best about having a home studio--I must live with the objects, materials, and even finished projects before they live in any public space.


There's this strange familiarity that I create with the artwork and that it creates with me. The flowers drying at seemingly every unoccupied corner of my home will soon move into the gallery and I'll sense their absence in my kitchen. My toddler will ask where I put the decorations. My husband will note the feeling of spaciousness that has returned. We'll notice the space they occupied and we'll notice they are missing.

But letting the objects exist in my home also allows them to permeate my subconscious and even create solutions--suddenly I realize that the flowers can hang vertically instead of needing to be bent into a circle because I see them hanging vertically in my back window each time I pass by to do the laundry. The colors of the exhibition become more obvious as I wash and hang the fabric in a row from the storage unit on the back porch.



The costumes, tablecloth, small army of dried flowers, vintage tea set, and other 3-dimensional objects are scattered across my home and studio punctuating my personal space. The costumes wait to be ironed, the tea set waits to be washed, and the flowers finish drying. I see how the work references my personal life and I see where it's a divergence. Truthfully, I can't imagine this exhibition any other way. It feels like this show needs to live with me before it lives in the gallery--like it might absorb my domestic life through osmosis and that domesticity might be clearer to the viewer somehow.

But I remember reading an interview with Kiki Smith and the interviewer noted how Smith's cats were walking across prints (in her home studio) that either had been or would soon be exhibited. I found this so refreshing--that even though her work is exhibited in major art institutions across the world, in her home it is still just her work. In her home it lives amongst her pets. In her home it absorbs her personal life and occupies her ordinary moments. In her home it is just familiar.


I very much believe in the importance of dedicated work space and I also covet the large sprawling work spaces of other artists. But I see the importance in letting the work live with me not just inside of me as a concept or internal conversation. Instead, letting the objects and materials occupy space beside my kitchen table, adjacent to my living room, and aside the other fabric in the laundry room waiting to be washed and folded. In this way, I like to believe that the work absorbs an essence of my life that it wouldn't otherwise--a layer of intimacy and domesticity that feels relevant. Especially for this show, that feels important.


Friends! Join me on Friday, May 2, 2014 at Rise Above Print Shop and Gallery for the opening of my solo exhibition, Still Time for Us Together in the Woods. It would mean so much to me to see you there. (And it means so much to me that you are visiting virtually too.) Next week I start installing this exhibition--fingers crossed it all comes to life as I've been imagining.

xoxo,
k

2 comments:

  1. I so wish I could be there for you on opening night. It sounds so exciting and beautiful from all of your descriptions. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much. The virtual cheers are also so important and keep me moving ahead in all these weeks and months before the exhibition opens. So thank you. Mucho.

      Delete

Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.