Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I've been doing

Well it's official. I am graduating in December. All my transfer credits are approved. I still can't believe it. In August I thought I wasn't going to be able to finish the BFA now here I am thinking about a MFA.

I am in my last Open Studio and working in 3D. The focus for my work is about aging, memories and fading from view. I definitely notice that how people in the world view me is changing. It's the small things mostly, like not getting service at a store, having the hairdresser do whatever instead of what I ask, being dismissed as old and therefore not worth listening to. It doesn't happen all the time but enough to notice.

These changes got me looking at who I am. How I see myself. What are my memories. What is my future. This is the framing I'm using to work this semester. I am bridging my past, present and future. I am taking the approach that the pieces represent me from the inside looking out. My memories are triggered by what I see now. Some moments feel like a collective memory, recognition that I follow generations of others who've been here before and that generations will follow.

I am working on three pieces possibly a fourth. The first is a collection of eleven light boxes made out of light metal in which digital images that are printed on tracing paper coated in cold wax. These boxes are placed on the wall in a random order much like how memories appear.

The second is a video projection using a 90 second video I made last semester called Near Journey's End. My husband Larry wrote the poem. The video is a close-up of my face using a Final Cut filter making it appear as a black and white drawing. My voice recites the poem, a disembodied voice sharing my thoughts. There is a filmy curtain suspended away from the wall. The video passes through it and is projected on both sides of the curtain and the wall. The effect is like a person behind a window, alone.

The third piece is three self portraits. The same close up of my face as the video. Each painting will become more obscured through sanding and filmy wax haze which references the curtain and my feeling of disappearing even though I'm still here.

I have finished making the boxes and need to print the images, wax and place in the boxes and mount to the wall. I'm hoping to finish it this week. The video needs some tweeking and my goal is to finish by next week. Next week I'll also continue to work on the paintings which are 50% done.

The fourth piece if there's time is another video projection using video I've already made. I think this is a doable.

That's it. I'm hoping my graduate show will be interesting and thought provoking.

Thanks to all my friends for inspiration and encouragement. It really keeps me grounded.

PS I'm still waiting for the results of my medical tests to find out what treatment I need to go through. So far it isn't life threatening but may be life changing :P


  1. Elizabeth.
    So many things you are going to do and I can hear out of your writing, that you are thrilled, dear!!
    This is the most importend!!!

    Wish you all the luck of the world..
    And you don't forget... you DID it!!

    Many hugs from Greece
    and PS.also wish you also the health of an ox !!!!

  2. Thank you Monika! I'm still feeling god-smacked. It was such a 180 degree turn that I wasn't expecting. Once the transfer credits were finalized the BFA became a reality. I am grateful to the Chair of the department who went to bat for me.
    I am also grateful to wonderful friends in my virtual neighbourhood. It is filled with generous creative people who share their art and a bit of their inner selves.

    Many hugs back to you.

  3. Dear Elizabeth, Congratulations on your degree! What a fantastic and enriching accomplishment. However, it is yet another beyond sad commentary on our society that our elders are treated like "second class citizens." More proof of our arrogance, superficiality, stupidity, I could go on. In native cultures, elders are revered and perform important tasks such as healing, teaching, guiding; passing down rituals, traditions, wisdom and history. I guess that's why in this country we run around like a bunch of toddlers with no sense of history, perpetually stuck in the narcissistic stage of early childhood development. Whew, what a rant. But that really gets my goat. I hope you are feeling better soon and please do let me know when and if you publish your videos. All the best to you...

  4. Thank you Stick Up. Finishing the degree has been a challenge. I have mixed feelings about the ending - will miss my instructors, classmates. There's a lot of good energy that encourages to push past perceived limitations. I am enjoying this last semester a lot. I hope I can bring it all forward. I'm also excited to practice independently too. lots of ideas. Just need to get the physical challenges out of the way.

  5. Mega conratulations on the BFA. What a journey of ups and downs you have been on! It's so good to read you can simply savour this last semester.

    Best wishes with the treatment. I guess many people don't understand the courage it takes to keep going, to the find the energy and the mental space to work when the foundations seem to shifting under one's feet. Hang in there.

    Warmest of greetings

  6. Thanks Harry. It's been a long semester but where the work's concerned not long enough. I'm already revisiting my pieces and will modify before showing. Stay well Harry.