Kimmel Harding Nelson Centre for the Arts
Three month residency, Nebraska City, Nebraska USA, 2007.
This Arts Council funded residency in the USA gave me the opportunity to respond to a different culture as well as place. I adopted several approaches to exploring new work, and only used materials that I could find locally.
I explored notions of iconic items such as the brown paper bag, found in stores all over America. Watching films as a child, I was always enamoured by (and rather envious of) the simple brown paper bag. I researched its fascinating history of development, its political battles of design between the sexes, and its own racial segregation. For example, in some black communities, if a paper bag was pinned to a door frame, and someone’s skin colour was darker than the bag, then entry was not permitted. I made new work by collecting hundreds of bags from traders in the local community. The collected bags were drawn on, destroyed and reconstructed, re-stitched and re-configured into large sheets that resembled cow hides, and then re-made into new bags again.
Thread and wire were utilised to reflect the vast fields of blackened stubs and roots of corn that surrounded the Arts Centre during the winter months, and donated lolly-pop sticks became a personal reference to the new technology of USB memory sticks that were, at the time, only just becoming ubiquitous!
Graphite, wax, graphite powder, graphite paste, pastels, thread, ink & staples on collected and found brown paper bags.
50 x 30 x 20 cm (approx).
Black Corn, Black Earth, Black Roots.
Black Corn, Black Earth, Black Roots. Wire, thread, paint & balsa wood. 10 x 30 x 30 cm (approx), 2007
40 Memory Sticks
40 Memory Sticks (selection only)
Wire, thread, paint, ink, graphite, nails, tape, pins, foil, staples, marker pen & donated lolly sticks.
10 x 2 cm each.