Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So I wanted to share with all of your what's been keeping me so busy lately. I just finished my BFA Metals degree and presented my thesis work in the museum on campus from December 4-8. The following beautiful photos were taken of the installation by Koehl Loren Ehlers, klehlersphotographer@yahoo.com:

The following is my artist's statement concerning the body of work and what inspired me in this process.

Entropy: Endemic, Epidemic, Pandemic

Entropy explores the concept of entropy and its place in and on the human body. Many of the patterns in Entropy are inspired by medical imagery, primarily enlarged views of cell colonies (particularly those of diseases) reproducing, developing and overtaking their host. I was initially drawn to a series of images revealing close-up views of a variety of diseases. These images are incredibly beautiful, filled with repeating patterns and fractal-like designs. That beauty can be found in something considered so debilitating is a very intriguing juxtaposition. I have since been working with these models to design several pieces of jewelry referencing these patterns. This body of work is an attempt to bring that which lies beneath the skin to the surface, changing the destructive into the beautiful.

In finding beauty in the unlikely place of the world of microscopic diseases, I hope to subvert traditional stigmas regarding what is socially accepted as “beautiful”. I was curious in creating this work to see if conceptions of what is attractive would shift when viewers are informed that the work is based on the structure of debilitating diseases. If the viewer does, on first look, find the work “beautiful” will this remain to be the case upon finding out what the work is based on, or would the viewer be appalled that beauty could be found in devastating organisms.

Additionally, several of the patterns that were used in composing Entropy were developed in response to results gained from my use of John Conway’s “Game of Life”. “Life” is a physics model that, upon being set with starting variables, creates a visual representation of the way diseases spread through a given population. These three pieces,

Endemic, Epidemic and Pandemic, will follow the stages of growth of a disease, visualized as growth on the body, starting with endemic, moving to epidemic and finally pandemic.

In, Endemic, phase one, the outbreak is isolated, and is represented by a neckpiece and a wrist piece displayed on an extended hand that reaches towards phase two, Epidemic. Epidemic contains a neckpiece, two hand pieces and a variety of assorted brooches, representing the more widened spread of the outbreak. Finally, the last phase, Pandemic, contains one wrist piece and a vast quantity of brooches, varying in size from 5mm to several inches, both in 2D and 3D to showcase different levels of outbreak. This phase of the exhibition also includes tiny brooches each representing a cell cluster. These will be available to be worn by viewers enabling them to interact with this phase and expand the spreading of the “disease” throughout the exhibition.

By working in great quantities of small silicon rings I am able to not only create the illusion of growth, but also create a “fabric” of sorts, a highly flexible object that moves as its wearer moves, appearing fragile yet remaining incredibly resilient. This flexible nature allows pieces such as the larger pins, each having more than one pin stem, to be fixed around curves of the body, so that they follow the movements of the wearer. Each piece captures a frozen moment in this simulated expansion, yet will leave viewers with the feeling that the cells may shift at any second.

Thanks for stopping by,