Week 13 of 52

May 3, 2010

I realized recently that I am not going to be here for 52 weeks! I looked at my contract and saw that I am only scheduled for 11 months, not 12!! I haven’t taken the time to actually count out the weeks, but I should be able to update the number to something a little more accurate soon. Anyways, on with the real entry… Given that a big part of what makes living here difficult for me is isolation from the rest of the world, it is changing my work. Aside from the problems I have making it to studio and getting work done, the place is changing the work itself and how I think about it. In fact, I’ve apparently started a whole new project based on this isolation. Other than the internet (which I don’t use for news), my only contact with media of any type is through magazines. I have a subscription to Time, which I never read—I only flip through headlines—and the slew of fashion magazines I purchased at the beginning of my stay in order to build the advertising porn wall in studio. These two sources are essentially the only way I have any idea what is going on outside Johnson, VT (weeks or months after the fact—did you know there was a volcano in Iceland? And that military inspired fashion is in?). And of course they are highly edited, specialized and tailored to specific audiences—demographics which I probably fit perfectly. Somehow these media staples, my only lifeline beyond the village of Johnson, came to represent the “real world“ and it was suddenly important to do something with them. So I’ve been working on “mash up“ collages, combining images and symbols from both. I work on them fairly brainlessly, which is great these days when I can’t push my own anxiety aside long enough to think through a whole project. I’m not ready to share any of the actual collages, but they have taken over our living room at home (since there is no space for them in studio) and occasionally get spread through the house with the help of Penny.

taking over the living room...

body parts...

heads and faces

the language of hands and arms

For a while I thought about just building a catalog of parts. I wanted to go through one entire issue of Vogue and cut out all the flesh… In the end I decided against it, because while I would find it to be a fascinating study, I’m not sure anyone else would care and what would I do with it after that? It may still happen anyways if I get sick of the collaging… I’m only sharing about half the pieces collected out of Vogue so far and nothing from Time, but once I’m ready to share some actual collages, you’ll get a better sense of how they end up working together.

Cut Paper Wedding Cake

September 23, 2009

I haven’t written anything in over a month, which is terrible, but things have been crazy!  I know there’s no excuse so I’m going to distract you with something totally different and fun and pretty!  A wedding cake!  I did this cake for one of my bestest and oldest friends’ weddings back in May.  We’ve known each other since kindergarten and spent a large portion of our lives as next door neighbors… we’ve pretty much seen each other through everything you could possibly see someone through growing up in rural Virginia.  Tina actually came up to Providence from Virginia with her boyfriend, soon to be fiance, now husband, Dave, to see and photograph the Paper Jungle back in 2007, so she was already really familiar with my cut paper work.  When she asked me to do their cake, I couldn’t have been more thrilled and honored, so here goes!

They had already designed several graphic themes for the wedding

They had already designed several graphic themes for the wedding

The main theme was these gorgeous love-birds

The main theme was these gorgeous love-birds

That made it super easy to apply their flower and bird images to paper cut-outs

That made it super easy to apply their flower and bird images to paper cut-outs

Everything was cut in one day, right before the wedding, after consulting with the baker, MaryLou

Everything was cut in one day, right before the wedding, after consulting with the baker, MaryLou

From Left to Right: MaryLou-baker, Dave-groom, Tina-bride, Dave's Grandfather-cake topper maker, Me!

From Left to Right: MaryLou-baker, Dave-groom, Tina-bride, Dave's Grandfather-cake topper maker, Me!

There you have it!  My new career as cake decorator extraordinaire has begun.  Contact me if you’re interested in your own custom cut paper cake for your next big event-it was a total blast and I couldn’t have done it without such a great crew to work with.  Although next time, it will be much easier if I’m not occupied as Bridesmaid AND cake decorator!  Love ya Tina and Dave—happy marriage!  And thank you for the beautiful photos, they were  all taken by Jeff Greenough.

(Next time, news about The Distillery, my new home!  And preparation for the upcoming South Boston Open Studios)

My Website!

August 20, 2007

Check out my brand spanking new website!  www.msarmsdesign.com

So while this isn’t directly related to the Paper Jungle project, I just wanted to let everyone know that I now have a real website in addition to this blog.  For now, the website is meant to give an overview of some of the work I’ve been doing over the last 4+ years.  Eventually it may be expanded to include other things as my interests and opportunities grow and change, but for now you’ll find a main Projects section that shows a few larger, more in depth projects and an Explorations section with quicker studies and experiments.  Now that I’ve finally graduated, I’ll be moving up to Boston within the next couple weeks to continue to pursue my art and design goals in a slightly bigger city than Providence.  I’m in the process of looking for work, although I’m still not sure I’ve decided what exactly I’m looking for!  So we’ll see what happens.  In any event, you should check out the website and if you’re looking to hire someone, check out the resume that’s posted on the homepage as well.  In the meantime, here’s a few of those transitional Paper Jungle photos that I promised a long time ago.  Thanks to everyone who has been watching this project from the beginning, and to those who are just now checking in.  It’s been a great process to go through and tons of fun.  As always, feel free to contact me anytime with thoughts, opinions, questions or concerns!

View from Outside Reflection of Winter Tree  A couple taken on a cold day in March, about a month after the opening from outside in the sculpture garden, looking in.

Still Some Left  There’s still quite a bit left inside, but lots has come down at this point and paper liters the floors.

The Entrance Detritus Wet Leaves and Dry Flowers These were taken about 2 months after the opening.  The entire central column has been destroyed.  Piles of flowers and plant forms fill the corners and center of the floor.  A rainy April day outside with fallen leaves from the previous autumn looking a lot like fallen flowers.

The End

July 13, 2007

So I know I initially promised lots of updates along the way as to how the installation was progressing and did not follow through. All I can say is sorry and I’ll try to catch up over the next month or so! It is now July so the project is completely finished. I tore down what was left of the piece on June 5th in about an hour. It was actually pretty satisfying to take apart the remainder, even though it only took an hour to tear apart what took countless hours to create. I suppose in the end it was OK simply because the entire project felt pretty successful. Things changed and evolved along the way and parts had to be left out or altered, but for the most part, it all worked out quite well and in accordance with the initial concept. So here are a few photos of what was left on the 5th and the de-installation process. I’ll go ahead and post these now so you can compare them to the opening photos and then I’ll write a couple new posts over the next month that fill in the 3 month gap inbetween. Enjoy!

Welcome to What’s Left Welcome to The End. This is what it looked like when I arrived on a very grey rainy Monday morning in June. Compare, if you will, to the same shot taken through the entry door labeled “Radeke Garden” the day I installed it. Quite different…

Rain Outside Ceiling at End Looking thin as you look out into the sculpture garden, or up to the ceiling. Now the framing structure is very clear whereas upon initial installation it was fairly well hidden. Then the real fun began!

Tearing it Down Pile on Floor Matt Mourning Rolling In It So here’s how de-installation worked. I ripped down everything as high as I could reach, threw it all on the floor and proceeded to roll in it while Matt, my faithful helper, mourned the loss.

CeilingGrid Cleaning Frames The End Next a view from above the ceiling grid I constructed. Now that the paper is mostly gone, you can actually see how it all fit together. We lowered each wood frame out of the aluminum grid, ripped the last of the paper off, took all the wood frames apart, removed the aluminum grid and we were done! That was how months of hard work ended!

Opening Part 1

March 28, 2007

Before Anyone Else has Touched it Taken around sunset Before the Chaos  Finally the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  Photos of the actual piece and of the opening party/reception at the museum.  I know these are a month late so I apologize but there’s lots of them!  Consider this part 1 of the documentation of the piece and the party.  This first set of photos was taken the moment I finished installing everything on February 22nd before anyone else had touched a single piece of paper or walked through the room.  They were taken right around sunset so there’s beautiful cool light coming in from outside in contrast to the warm flourescents.  There are more of these photos–I’m just showing a few to entice you into checking back later.

Close Up Close Up 2 Close Up 6                       Close Up 3 Close Up 4 Close Up 5  All of these are close ups taken during the actual opening by my lovely friend Ashley who came the furthest distance of all–all the way from North Carolina just to see my show and hang out for the weekend.

Christopher Robbins’ Plywood Tree Line to get into Jungle Liz, Julia and Kacper About to enter Jungle                                             Miscellaneous People in Jungle Dad in Jungle Simon and Zehra exiting Jungle  This first one is of the other Sitings piece, Christopher Robbins’ Plywood Tree, and the next is the line up the stairs of people waiting to enter my Paper Jungle.  The rest are of people interacting with the space.

The Party Agus’ Basement Blues, Agus, Matt and Mark Parents The Sitings Winners (Christopher Robbins and I) Chatting with Chrissi Upstairs Housemates Leon and Roger Greg and Leila Architecture Friends, Shana, Jen, Kacper–all the way from Boston and NYC Brown Orchestra kids, Sarah, Jonathan, Ho and Lisa  And of course all the fun photos of everyone hanging out in the main gallery, eating Kabob & Curry and listening to Agus’ Basement Blues (live rock band!) amidst the museum’s awesome collection of Modern Art.  My favorite is the photo of the band in front of a Rothko with a sign above them questioning “What Happened to Art?”–it really doesn’t get much better than this…  Thank you so much to everyone for coming out!  Especially those of you who came from long distances including North Carolina, Virginia, New York and Boston.  You guys are amazing.

There are many more photos of the opening and the disaster that was my piece afterwards!  So keep checking back and perhaps next time I’ll actually organize them into a slideshow since I know clicking on each photo individually is a huge pain…

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