Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Final Project: Releasing the Ephemeral

My final project:

Releasing the Ephemeral
 Elise Beckman

plaster, fabric, objects from nature

     Nests are symbolic of the sacred places inside us, where we collect our invested meaning from the physical world. The hollow form of a human hand creates an opportunity to view these sacred places inside us-- the internal space which holds these sacred collections-- in the form of a nest, visible inside. The form follows the lines of a tree branch which supports it, in its extending gesture outward towards a giving expression. In the palm rests a branch holding small objects from the natural world-- an acorn, a leaf, a rock-- the physical objects from the external world which can filter from the outside world into our inner world, and there spread their meaning, in a place beyond words. It is my hope that these representations of inner and external space, of nests and new creations, and the physical body will reveal these invisible meanings, and connect us with a new way of reading the space around us, inside us, and the people which inhabit it.

   In the words of Walt Whitman:

To be in any form, what is that?

(Round and round we go, all of us, and ever come back
If nothing lay more develop'd   the quahaug in its callous shell
     were enough.
Mine is no callous shell,
I have instant conductors all over me whether I pass or stop,
They seize every object and lead it harmlessly through me.
I merely stir, press, feel with my fingers, and am happy
All truths wait in all things,
they are to branch boundlessly out of that lesson until it
     becomes omnific.

-Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

    In the future, I plan to take these ideas into steps further, and create a, or several, full-scale human forms in this fashion, with these ideas of internal and external space, branching, and nests in mind, and install them outside in relation with physical living trees. It is my intention to hopefully inspire an experience which may change the way people read the world around them and inside them through the use of full-size human form in relation with these natural spaces often overlooked, and reveal inner truths inside them. I am so excited for where this journey is leading me, and all that is to come :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

and why they are interesting to me: internal and external space, clearly defined yet all is visible
holding invisible inside, yet seen


Tree Torso

This is what my tree torso looks like at this point, as I move forward I think the torso part is very effective, but something about the head still feels unresolved: I want to allude to the shape of the head while still showing the hollow internal space... not sure how to resolve this but I will keep with it, and it seems like a good stopping point for contemplation at this point :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Nest Body

So I'm thinking about how to create a face for my book sculpture, and I'm thinking all the sudden that a sort of half-mask face made of bended twigs would be sweet, and mimic the ideas of nests that have been propelling me all semester, So I'm thinking I would really like to try this out this weekend, see how it goes, and depending on that it may be a viable option in moving forward with my final project: we'll see.

This is my general process I'm looking at tryin' out this weekend:

How I can make my face nest from sticks:

  1. take face mold with plaster
  2. boil small sticks
  3. line the mold with plastic wrap, so the mold doesn’t get wet in this next step:
  4. arrange them, bendable, inside the face mask
  5. use knife to score the parts that are bending the most, like the nose or something
  6. let it dry, see how that goes!
  7. -- maybe hot glue the joints, so it stays together?

Who knows! I find I learn a lot in the making, so physically experimenting with materials I think will prove very valuable. Excited!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

tree torso

This is my in-class book project, thus far: It is almost done, I am just considering how to allude to the shape of a head so that it will have a more recognizably human presence. But I am very excited about the way that the pages of the book comprise this form, and all that combined language and knowledge is interwoven into its composition. This was a very intuitive process, using only wire, paper, and flour glue with a wooden base and a tree found outside to make the piece structurally sound. (also one rubberband and some normal craft glue). What was surprising is that I started out conceptually just with the desire to fashion the upper half of a human form with my hands, out of these specific materials. What I found was that by grappling in the moment with the structural difficulties of making this form stand up (having to wait for glue to dry to be able to add upper layers, the viscosity and strength of the glue versus how well it could saturate the paper, etc.) I ended up making a structure that is not solid but which alludes to a solid form; which does not replicate exactly the bone structure of a human anatomy but which alludes to it, which is not completely hollow but which shows the space both outside of the form as well as inside; and in which the tree structure serves both as support as well as an allusion to the spine of the figure, and extending from it as if a sort of impulse towards growth and expression. I am very satisfied with this form except for the desire to make it more human by the addition of a head in some sort of compatibly abstract way. So excited!!! Then all remains is to cut the excess wood on the bottom and resolve that surface as a part of the piece-- then it will be ready to be displayed in the Duderstadt Library, where we have been working on these projects!

Here are photos:

Friday, February 22, 2013