Wednesday, July 10, 2013

installation: "the spiderweb"

Most of you know that I have spent a great deal of time this past year co-hosting and curating a local creative collective called Spiderweb Salon. It has been life-changing. This community of people has kept me in Denton long past what I once thought was my expiration date for this town. In the last year, I have witnessed creative transformations that have motivated me to keep up the collective, but that have also helped reignite a passion for my own art. Best of all, I have had the honor to meet some truly incredible, beautiful, and talented people.

These people, this community, is solely responsible for inspiring my most recent art piece to date, simply called, “the spiderweb”.

“the spiderweb” debuted at Spiderweb Salon’s anniversary show last weekend. You can check out more photos of the project and close-ups of the work HERE, and pictures of the awesome show itself HERE.

My original idea to create “the spiderweb” began a long time ago and has taken many different forms. I find the evolution of creativity fascinating, and the complex beauty of this large-scale project we call Spiderweb Salon is not lost on me. Only three months after the collective started, I embarked on a time-consuming enterprise to paint a 8x8 portrait of everyone who had been involved until that point. I had lofty plans to finish some 30-40 of these portraits in just two months. Of course, I set my expectations far too high. I did not account for how little time I could dedicate each day to the project, and I certainly didn’t foresee the numerous projects we were soon to take on, including many workshops and the humble beginnings of our published zines.

After a few good discussions with partners and friends, I realized if I wanted to present my ideas of community and interconnectedness in a very personal manner, I would have to settle for a smaller scale art piece.

The web idea came to me naturally, and I started by spending a couple hours researching real spider’s webs. I went to S.C.R.A.P. Denton and purchased several rolls of strong string (with minimum stretch), as well as notecards.

I used a list we had already compiled for our website with the names of all the folks so far who have been a part of the shows, zines, and workshops. Days before, using my little blue portable Royal, I typed out the names onto the notecards, and carefully cut them into small strips.

After prep, it took me about 3 hours on the day of the show to construct the actual web and adhere each strip of paper/name.

You can interpret this piece however you want.

For me: I like that each name on the web symbolizes that person’s individuality and isolates them. At the same time, looking at the piece at a whole, one can see it is all connected. Like the community we represent, we allow ourselves to be united in some way regardless of how we identify ourselves personally or artistically. We embrace all kinds of creativity and artists and encourage collaboration beyond the norm.

The people involved in Spiderweb Salon are Spiderweb Salon. That’s what makes it a collective. We create it, we make it what we want. I am proud to act as a catalyst so this can happen. I spend so much time on it because I believe it is important, and I believe a lot of us need something like this community in our lives.

P.S. I had every intention to destroy it the next day (someone even suggested i light it on fire), but found myself making an effort to preserve it and ended up hanging some semblance of the original piece in our Spiderweb office at home.