Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Janet Van Fleet: Getting going

I am finally getting a firmer sense of what I want to do for the exhibit in Nagoya. I've been thinking about this project using circular forms since last December, when I wrote about it on my blog. But I had ideas in between about working with cut steel, which I would really have liked to do, but it's just too heavy to transport and we have discovered that the gallery can't handle heavy things hanging from the ceiling. Also, I've been thinking that we really should use those nice big walls for something, and not have everything on the floor.

So, it's back to circular forms in a grid, imagery I've been working with for a number of years now. Here's a link to a film called Quantum Entanglement by Gail Marlene Schwartz that uses imagery from one of my larger pieces called Circular Statements. This time, in this context, I think it nicely suggests the web of life, which is what I think about when I think about biodiversity.

Here's a first sketch, using the disks I'd made before, interspersed with buttons. I found that I could hang the grid on the wall with push-pins, which puts it about a centimeter away from the wall. But I can make it stand out farther from the wall by putting a piece of cork behind, which clings to the wall and pushes the disk up, making a larger shadow and a little more movement in the piece. You can also see in this image how the wires in the grid are attached to push-pins on the right. I will need to find out whether this is OK for use on the gallery wall.

So here are some more disks I've been working on over the last few days in the studio. I'm finding that plants, insects, and single-cell organisms are most effective at this scale -- but then they represent the majority of the planet's life-forms. Click on the photo below to see more detail.

I'm imagining having a grid on the wall, maybe across from the doors, about 20 feet long and 36" high, though it could also be a series of smaller grids/webs sprinkled around the wall. The first grid I made (at the top of this post) is a 5-inch grid. But I think I'd like to add some disks that are a little larger (cd's), so Maybe a 6-inch grid would be better. Or something metric! Or a series of diverse sizes and configurations...