MMT-Part Two Joining and wrapping- Artist research

Artist research

Pippa Andrews
“I use textile techniques to make structures derived from organic and architectural forms.” [1]

This artist works with a range of materials and techniques, such as, knotting, beading, stitch to create 3- dimensional, abstract forms. Her ‘Standard’ series recycles copies of the Evening Standard newspaper by turning them into beads and joining them together with nylon fishing wire to create sculptures inspired by modern buildings, bridges and cityscapes as well as natural forms.It seems such a simple method but the scope of design has unlimited possibilities.These structures are reminiscent  of scientific molecules, or DNA codes. My son had a game when he was little made of magnetic tubes and balls that could be placed together in any way and Pippa’s structures also remind me of that game.

Pippa Andrews Standard series
Pippa Andrews Standard series
Pippa Andrews
Pippa Andrews

Her textile pieces are fun and quirky. Some have sewn channels which then have rods or tubing threaded through to create a 3D sculpture. One I particularly liked seems to be made with felt held together with wooden toothpicks.It reminded me of a shell like structure.

Pippa Andrews

www.pippaandrews.com

Barbara Cotterell
This textile artist works with recycled and waste materials and repetitive patterns. She has used Tea bags, foil, drinks cans, milk bottles, to name a few.

“ Manipulating materials, finding out how they behave individually, how they perform as a group, what kind of fastening works. Everything is about repetition, the similar but slightly changing unit.” [2]

Barbara Cotterall

She uses her art and to raise awareness of our impact on the environment.I liked the cow made with a years worth of plastic milk bottles because it made me think 1, about the dairy industry and 2, the amount of plastic the individual uses in a year.

Barbara Cotterall

‘Impact’ also made an impression on me- a set of crushed drink cans in the shape of a coffin laid out on the grass. When removed the grass had not grown under the cans, so left a circular repeat pattern on the ground. Although this would be a short term impact on the ground it does make you think of the wider implications of all the rubbish we, as humans, produce and discard.

Barbara Cotterall
Barbara Cotterall

www.materialspace.com/page6.htm 

Andy Goldsworthy
This is an artist I knew about as I love his land art. He works with rocks, pebbles, ice, snow, leaves, branches, bark and thorns to name a few materials. His work is an intuitive response to the environment around him.

“The intention of my work has always been to understand my relationship with the land. I don’t go out to improve what is there. But I do feel this need to be a participant, working with it, learning about it.” [3]

Andrew Goldsworthy

While looking at the website link given I was delighted that a lot of the images were accompanied by Goldsworthy’s diary entries. For me, this gave a better insight on his reasons for creating the art and also spoke about any difficulties he encountered while making the art. His art is not permanent,it degrades naturally or is completely destroyed by the elements, and I read that he only takes one photo of each piece of art. The diary entries and a photograph are all that remains, as permanent reminder of his fleeting work. In a way I feel sad that the beauty of the art fades away and cannot be kept, but, on the other hand, his art returns back to the earth, leaving no footprint, or sign that it was there, as maybe it should. 

Andrew Goldsworthy
Andrew Goldsworthy

www.goldsworthy.cc.gla.ac.uk 

Judith Scott
Another artist I had heard of before, but, admittedly, I didn’t know much about. Born with Down Syndrome and left death by scarlet fever, and mute, she was placed into an institution at age 7 ½. Her sister Joyce took guardianship of her in 1986 and enrolled her at the Creative growth art center. After a workshop with Sylvia Seventy, Judith began wrapping pieces of wood in fibre and threads which were referred to as fetishes or totems.. She then moved on to wrapping anything she could find such as bikes, chairs and wheels. She used threads, fibres, fabrics, tubing, plastics, fishing nets to wrap, layer and knot, enveloping and entwining a secret center. The director of the center believed she was “learning to speak and her early pieces were her first words.” [4] I read that she was considered an ‘outsider artist’- I’m not sure how I feel about that comment.

Judith Scott

Judith seemed to conceal and create at the same time. Sometimes you can see what the wrapped item is, other times it’s a mystery. There seems to be no discernable pattern or colour consideration, some are monotone, some are mixed colours and textures. Maybe her disabilities took away all the rules for her and she just created in a way that made her happy and gave her purpose? There seems to be no information about whether the items she wrapped had any personal meaning to her, or why she chose the materials she did, as she could never explain it. This adds to the wonder of the work I feel. What did they mean to her? What’s inside? Why did she wrap them? Prompts so many questions. To me, I feel like the items were possibly being cocooned,becoming safe and protected. She spent many years institualized until her sister rescued her so maybe her work reflects this?

Judith Scott
Judith Scott

Her work has been compared to fetishes or totems . ” It strangely recalls certain African fetishes, from Mali or from Benin, which are symbolically explained in the following terms by anthropologist, Nanette Jacomun Snoep: “Wrapping objects in layers of fabric is meant to put the body and spirit back in order again, thanks to bandaging, mending, and sewing. It is also concealing and erasing the presence that has been eclipsed from our gaze, thereby conferring greater power on the object. A sense of secrecy is thus established in this manner: the object seems to become increasingly inaccessible”. The same is true of other magical objects, from Nigeria or from Congo in particular, where a form is placed in an enmeshment of knots so that the seer may “capture, and then control the powers over which they have mastery through the art of manipulation”. The anthropologist concludes: “By knotting, by tying, and by linking elements together, one thus captures forces, one tames them, and one becomes restored.” [5]

Judith Scott
Judith Scott

 I like the idea that some of her works are like fetishes or talismans because I make spirit dolls and often hide crystals, herbs and charms inside to coincide with the meaning of the doll. I make them on pieces of stick and wrap them with fabrics and ribbons to create the bodies.

http://judithandjoycescott.com/index.shtml

Christo and Jean-Claude
I didn’t find the link helpful www.christojeanneclaude.net The about section is just a list of work they have done-naming the works but not giving any clarification of their work. I couldn’t tell if they were drawing big structures wrapped in fabric or actually wrapping big structures in fabric then drawing them! A lot more research told me they were a married couple who created environmental works of art. They wrapped the reichstag in Berlin and the Pont-neuf bridge in Paris. 

Christo and Jean-Claude

“The artists deny that their projects contain any deeper meaning than their immediate aesthetic impact. The purpose of their art, they contend, is simply to create works of art for joy and beauty and to create new ways of seeing familiar landscapes”[6]

Christo and Jean-Claude

“I am an artist, and I have to have courage … Do you know that I don’t have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they’re finished. Only the preparatory drawings, and collages are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.”[7]

I must admit to feeling a bit confused about these artists. Although certainly large scale and elaborate, I kept asking myself, “to what purpose?” If the artists insist that their work holds no deeper or political meaning, then I don’t really get it. To go to all the trouble of covering a building or structure with a huge piece of fabric, the majority of which, as far as I could ascertain, were plain fabrics containing no pattern, wording or slogans, seemed a bit irrelevant to me. The smaller more intimate scale of Judith Scott’s wrappings have more mystery and intrigue to me, where as Christo and Jeanne-claude’s work just had me asking why, without really caring about the answer.

Christo and Jean-Claude

Karola Pezarro 
This artist uses sculptures, drawings, embroidery and instalions to convey the fragility of life, memory, and the visible and invisible. There is a strong sense of childhood wonder and nature elements running through her work. She uses textile materials as well as wood, metal, plaster and stone. There is a lot of symbolism in her work and she is also sympathetic to the surroundings and environment in her material and colour choices. The first piece of work I looked at was the Elzenhof Memorial Place which is a site for the unborn child in the Elezenhof cemetery in Harderwijk. The first thing that struck me was that it was sheltered and protected by a hedge and an artistic, curved, organic fence- these reminded me of a mothers arms-surrounding and protecting. There are glass balls that light up in the fence which represent “ elusiveness, vulnerability, soap bubbles and star points in the night sky” [8] She has done a lot of work for cemeteries, exploring the circle of life and the vulnerability of existence.

Karola Pezarro
Karola Pezarro

I like the fact that on her website she has explanations for some of her work and designs. This helps with the appreciation of the work. Some work I might have looked at and liked but not fully understood the reasoning or symbolism behind it. With an explanation, I feel you can appreciate the work more, knowing what has gone into the design.

Her figures work consists of a series of mixed media, abstract figures, some of which have been partially shrouded with open weave/transparent netting and knotted threads, so they are partially obscured-normally over the head. Others have wrapped appendages. Unfortunately, there are no explanations for these works so they are open for interpretation.

Karola Pezarro
Karola Pezarro
Karola Pezarro
Karola Pezarro

She has a vast range of work- from designing large ceramic drawings for the walls of a monastery, to installations and sculptures, ceramic works and drawings.Her work includes lots that fit into the joining and wrapping theme of this project as well as those that don’t. I wouldn’t say she has a particular style as the scope and range of her work is so huge, but the attention to detail and symbolism seem to be ever present.

Karola Pezarro

www.karolapezarro.nl 

Other research

My pinterest board here https://www.pinterest.co.uk/lunaiow/mmt-part-2-joining-and-wrapping-research/ includes a huge amount of artist research and other images that appealled to me on the joining and wrapping theme.


Rickie Wolfe

My research led me to an artist called Rickie Wolf who creates metal circular structures and fills them with enamel, paper, threads and other materials. I came across her (I think) on Pinterest and was instantly inspired by it as it fit so perfectly with the joining theme. I have not been able to find out a great deal about the artist except she is from Seattle, USA.She also paints, very abstractly, the shadows that her work creates which I found interesting.

Rickie Wolfe
Rickie Wolfe
Rickie Wolfe

Rickiewolfe.com 

Sheila Hicks

An American artist known for her innovative use of weaving and sculptural textile structures. www.sheilahicks.com

Sheila Hicks
Sheila Hicks

[1] textileartist.org/pippa-andrews

[2] textileartist.org/barbara-cotterell-from-frugal-foundations

[3] the.guardian.com/art+design

[4] textileartist.org 

[5] http://www.notesartbrut.ch/judith-scott/

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christo_and_Jeanne-Claude

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christo_and_Jeanne-Claude originally from- Living with Art, Mark Getlein

[8] http://www.karolapezarro.nl/elzenhof.html

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