Duplex: How did you come together and how did you settle on the theme?
Shiloh Gastello: Christina Kemp and I co-curated the exhibition proposal and theme. Our group is familiar with each other’s work, and based on the theme of the exhibition, we broadly placed everyone’s art into a framework where they all fit together to form a new and cohesive conceptual whole.
Sarah Eaton: Working so closely together as a cohort, we have found many threads that link our work together over the past two years. Place and home are two themes that have had an influence on multiple people’s work, so it was not a surprise when the group decided on this theme.
D: Can each of you give a quick introduction to your work and your selected media for the show?
Christina Kemp: I work in both digital and darkroom photography. Within the last year and a half of graduate school, digital work has been my primary focus. I am especially interested in pushing and pulling the viewer through a constructed image created through the lens of a silent storyteller.
Erin Martinez: My thesis inquiry investigates my relationship to my hometown of Tehachapi, California and how that ambivalence influences my identity. Teenagers in Parking Lots specifically addresses my inquiry by subverting the expectations of a mundane object, and inserting my own narrative and experience into something that reads as banal.
Julia March Crocetto: The particular piece featured in the exhibition is about some of the emotional aspects of place and memory, acknowledging the fallibility of memory.
SG: My work is materially focused in ceramics. Ceramics are found in the home, whether mass-produced or hand-made. But by purposely warping and fracturing my ceramics in the kiln, I seek to increase the emotionally gestural nature of my work to reflect aspects of the character of the viewer. I hope to incite the viewer to think about how everyday objects relate to their bodies, while also evoking a sense of narrative ambiguity. I seek to leave space for the viewer to contemplate on how seemingly mundane objects function by emphasizing their imperfections and flaws that skew their typical utilitarian context.
SE: I have been focusing my research on the perceptions and the gazes of the artist and viewer. I am specifically interested in eliciting a space for an active viewer that does not passively look at the work, but takes a quiet moment to internalize what they are seeing. In a fast paced tech world, I find that slowing down for a moment to really see something is very valuable. I utilize transparency, layering and non-traditional construction and material methods to encourage this curiosity from the viewer.
D: Are your pieces in the show a departure from your usual medium?
SG: Not on a material basis. However, the work featured in this exhibition reflects a departure in my conceptual and material process. I typically make purely functional wares for everyday or ceremonial use, such as mugs, Japanese tea bowls, or teapots. However, I recently have been seeking to push the perception of why some people use cherished objects that are broken or compromised in a society where imperfect things are usually thrown away. This exploration has greatly affected the way that I conceptualize my work and my intent with how it directly connects to the viewer.
EM: This piece is a departure because it moved my work from a traditional print on the wall to a more nuanced object-based piece. I think that using objects in addition to more historical print media allows for stronger access points for my audience. We all have some experience with grocery bags or cigarette butts or small towns or teenage angst. To combine those elements into something that subverts expectations while telling my personal history has felt like a powerful move in a different direction.
JMC: I am returning to fibers after exploring other media, such as vinyl, which I was using in a similar manner. I work in a variety of media depending on the concept but cloth usually wins out. There are particular actions that I need the media to respond to, and cloth is incredibly versatile.
SE: My piece exemplifies my break away from using paint to create a painting. I have utilized my long history of painting, art history, and composition to create fiber paintings that exemplify the body (home) and landscape (place). Utilizing the stretcher bar as a signifier of a traditional painting format, I am pushing the boundaries of what a painting is, allowing it to become more of an object that an image. Read More «In the Studio – Creating a Place for Home»