I've been thinking for a couple of years now about doing a three dimensional installation. The challenges involved in this are numerous, and I have a new respect for artists to work this way on a regular basis. I'm blogging about it as a personal reference of the stages I went through to develop the art.
This work is based on emotion, and it took me a long time to work out how to show feelings in artwork. I have often felt emotion looking at other artist's work, but how to express that myself was a mystery. I started by keeping a small journal, writing down words and phrases that came to me, and over time I was able to start writing down ideas to try to express those words.
It was important to me to not bash you over the head with my thoughts, but rather to have you look at the art and decide for yourself what you think it means. I will say that the art is based on loss, both physical and emotional.
Once I decided on the basic idea of how to make this work, I needed to figure out the finer points of actually making it. I knew I wanted an overhang supporting the basic structure, but I didn't want it to be the focus of the work. I started with a plastic grid from Home Depot, thinking I could wrap cheesecloth around it and it would look all floaty, but it looked like plastic with cheesecloth wrapped around it so I gave that up. The basic structure, by the way, is several lightweight shapes made from stiffened cheesecloth, to be dangled from the overhang.
I ended up with a piece of metal from a fabricator, 2' x 4', that I wrapped in vinegar soaked cheesecloth to rust.
The next step was to figure out how to attach the shapes to the supporting structure. I knew I wanted to use fishing line for that, so I stitched about 2 yards of fishing line to each shape. I had the metal fabricator drill holes in the metal every 4 inches, with the intention to threading the line though to the top of the the support.
But how would I attach it once I threaded it through? My first idea was to glue two 1/4 inch layers of cork board together on top of the metal. It was a good idea, because the fishing line seemed to stay in place where I pulled it through, so I could easily adjust it.
I glued it down and put a few pieces of fishing line through.
Then watched it pop up again, even after clamping it. Not a good look, so I abandoned that idea. By this time, my husband Ted started getting sucked into this project, and he came up with the idea of using these small jewelry thing a ma bobs. They clamp the fishing line, are adjustable, and just big enough not to fall through the holes.
This was my major struggle with this piece. How to have it hang freely, be able to dismantle it, and use small parts. Next week, I will talk a little more about the project as a whole.