In order to do assemblage work you must have an unbounded infatuation for the materials of life. And I do. My studio is a warehouse of ideas, a treasure trove of discarded used and curious things. I search flea markets, tag sales, the streets, dumps, and nature for material that possess the attributes of weathering, peeling, rust, or other special qualities that new materials lack. Everything has an aesthetic quality. When something has been used for another purpose for many years, its scars, wear, and patina give it a new aesthetic, a new life.
When constructing my assemblages, I like to create or retell myths, dreams, operas, and stories. Some of my assemblages often express personal views on social, political and religious issues and others are purely automatic – they just come together. I don’t like being too literal in my work nor do I often give my work titles that give away their meaning. I like the viewer to interpret their own meaning from the assembly of objects. Sometimes I’ll maintain the original identity of the object so it will be recognized as it might be crucial to the meaning. Or it may be that an object can be more than it seems to be. A new identity emerges when you separate the materials from their original functions, freeing them from their destiny as trash, giving those objects new identities and roles, a new soul. It’s not always easy in finding the right placement for the objects.
Doubt and change are constant. What is the perfect introduction, the final piece? I must always be able to recognize what belongs and understand its meaning and have the wisdom and patience to wait for this to occur. Sensitivity to chance is important, intuition about shape and color is crucial. It is the intrinsic nature of an object that leads to a new and intimate connection, initiating or continuing the process of creating a construction or collage or discontinuing and starting over. Just as a painter has her palette of paint and color, my palette requires being tactile, touching objects, playing with them. Selecting, relating, and joining, I am guided by a mental inventory of my palette of objects and the hope that the objects from my hunting will fall into place.
With my new work, I have been using less of the small, fanciful found objects and focusing more on using old wood foundry molds and paint. I am exploring the color and the natural, somewhat cubist construction of these molds. Still assemblages, each piece, when combined with others, comes together to form a human or animal form. So many of these found pieces resemble parts of the body, head, eyes, mouths, etc. And as I paint them, it is almost as if two-dimensional abstract painting becomes three dimensional with each side completely integrated into the finished piece. In some cases, the front bears one personality while the back reveals another.
The Northampton Arts Council has a brand new website!: www.northamptonartscouncil.org
The Northampton Arts Council will be hosting a community
meeting to discuss the upcoming ArtsEZ grant cycle on Wednesday, April 29, 2009, 6pm to 8pm at APE at Window, 126 Main Street, Northampton.
At this event, we will showcase the exciting work of three outstanding past grant recipients; Angela Zammarelli, Stephen St. Francis Decky, and Peter Blanchette. In addition to presenting the ArtsEZ grant process, Gordie Thorne and Lisa Thompson of APE at Window will speak about the Round House and Artist Trust developments, Julia Handschuh of Commonwealth Center for Change will present the new Valley Art Share website and we'll have an open discussion about arts in Northampton.
Guidelines and applications for the ArtsEZ grant round are available at our website: www.northamptonartscouncil.org