Just submitted my application for the Eiteljorg Museum’s Contemporary Art Fellowship for 2013! Whether I’m selected or not, it was a good process to go through in terms of evaluating and selecting artwork for submission, and getting my artist statement revamped. I even took a new and better photograph of my recent piece I finished (see above). Oh, and it has a title now too: Ipshaamkírapuh Iktíinach (Orphan Dance-Stick).
This past Thursday I had the opportunity to attend the Gala Opening of the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. The show here in Seattle is the last North American stop before the items return to Egypt, with the intention that they will not not go on tour ever again.
There were a lot of great pieces, and much of the exhibit includes items and sculptures from Egyptian history, with the final layout resembling and presenting items from King Tutankhamen’s tomb. It was a little disappointing that the famed golden mask which is used in the promotional advertising was nowhere to be seen. But not really surprising.
What struck me with this exhibit, and indeed with a previous exhibit I have seen in this space (the fossilized remains of “Lucy”) was the way that these burial items, and on occasion, actual remains, are used for entertainment value. Certainly there is scientific data and purpose to investigating historical objects, but is there a point where a respectful line needs to be drawn between the search for knowledge and the search for amusement?
I specifically have avoided any of the “Body” exhibits that have come to town because I am uncomfortable with the concept of the show and using human remains for titillation and profit. Yet, I can’t help but feel a similar type of sadness when I consider exhibits like “King Tut” or “Lucy.” We are so quick to honor and respect our own dead, but the passage of time somehow makes it more acceptable to disrespect those who came before us, especially when they can easily be distanced as coming from another land, race, or even species.
I wonder, would the reception be the same if there was a touring show of a great European monarch’s body and burial items? How many people would feel comfortable viewing Queen Elizabeth I’s corpse in a glass case? Why are the bodies on display or held in museum vaults generally non-white? I put a great deal of stock into intention. Granted, good intentions may have negative consequences and vice versa, but I see no honor in trying to profit off of the remains of others. These exhibits are cloaked in science, but at the heart of it, they are about entertainment. They may be less bloody than gladiator combat in a Roman arena, but are they any less macabre?
Made another bracelet earlier this week for a coworker’s birthday. By this time, my stickers and cards had also arrived, so it was a little more polished for presentation as a gift.
Got some more cut felt in the mail today too. From a different source and I like the felt better as it is thicker and 100% wool (versus acrylic). However, it is also more expensive! We’ll see how well the new pieces turn out. The wool is dark gray so it is similar but might have more contrast than the green I have now. Will hopefully get some of the new stuff together by next week!
Finally finished this piece tonight! I had made the cast glass base portion at Pilchuck in the summer of 2008 and then never was quite sure what to do with in. It’s been percolating though, and in a sudden burst of something, it all came together. Includes a bunch of materials such as red felt on the back of the “stick” portion that is tied on with artificial sinew. There are dentalium, glass, clamshell, and pine nut beads at the “neck” along with two found feathers and a tiny abalone shell. Black thread is tied around the top with an attached stone.
Still thinking of what to call this. I’m sure someone will ask me what purpose this has at some point too. But that’s the thing, it doesn’t need to explain itself. It just is.
I’ve had an idea percolating for a while that was initially inspired by seeing this Karuk item at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York back in 2007. (Photo was found online or you can view at: http://www.nmai.si.edu/searchcollections/item.aspx?irn=162964&catids=2,1&areaid=14®id=46&culid=274&src=1-1)
I think I’m finally ready to start working on it this year. Will be applying for some grants to help with materials, and we’ll see how it all goes. More will be posted about this project as it develops…
Found out yesterday that my proposal was accepted for the Center on Contemporary Art Seattle’s fourth outdoor art installation exhibition at Carkeek Park. I’m pretty excited! It will be installed by late June and up through mid-October. My hope is that I might also be selected for the City of Seattle’s Art Interruptions and I will have a two-instate rise installed outdoors at the same time, one in a forest setting and one in a city environment. My fingers are crossed…
Lately I’ve been working on some new things in the form of jewelry. Using pieces I designed and had laser cut from felt and wood (Texas ebony) plus thread, beads, and jewelry findings, I’ve made some pieces to send down to From the River Collective. I like the earring and necklace sets although I think they still need a little tweaking. The wood pendants are pretty cool though. And I really like how the bracelet turned out! Fun to make some new things and explore yet another direction.