There is an interesting question of identity that comes directly
from the nature of the work itself. As my craft-based, enamel painted,
fiberglass forms hang on the wall, supported by their own shadows,
the question of “what is it” comes up. Is it craft;
is it fiber art; is it sculpture; does it want to be a painting.
In terms of the identity narrative, is the true self the fiberglass
object or the shadow that it casts. “Veneer” is a direct
response to this conceptual byproduct of the material process.
“Veneer” takes the question of which part of me is
me, which part of me articulates my identity, as general inspiration
and focuses on the tension between the surface (the façade),
it’s shadow, and the intangible yet very solid space compressed
between the two.
“Veneer” is also of the body of works that look at
individuals within closed groups. That is, how the form of an individual
is affected as it becomes embedded in a specific group. 25 (52)
doilies of the same size and pattern were crocheted. I like using
prime numbers. I like the uniqueness, the individuality of a prime.
I squared 5, a prime number. I like the idea of “squaring”
round doilies. Both mathematically and in form. All doilies began
as the same, because of the choice to join them at four points,
and through the resin application process, each gained a brevity
of individuality. At this junction, the overall form wanted to be
flat and thin. This is where specificity of concept focused and
gave me “Veneer”.
The fiberglass was set in translucent neutral gray resin. True
to the concept of veneer, I set out to paint the front surface.
To beautify? To assert individuality? To conceal? This set off associations
of: surface paint, make-up, falsehood, ugliness, ugly color, war
paint, conceal, camouflage. These associations created the color
palette. At this point, I treated the work as a painting, making
formal, compositional, and problem solving choices as a painter
That these 25 individuals became more about their own garish embellishment
through surface paint, thereby becoming dependent on and manipulated
by the external, gave me the puppet-like cross-bar hanger which
The painted fiberglass façade hangs 5 inches in front of,
perfectly parallel to, the wall. 5 inches because this distance
not only etches a clear and complex shadow on the wall but also
activates the space between the fiberglass and the wall, so much
so that it becomes a part of the sculptural body. Now the work is
no longer flat. It is no longer just crochet. No longer just a painting.
It compresses and activates space. It becomes about space. It becomes
sculpture. The paint is the front, the shadow is the back, and the
space in between is the middle, the substance, the structure that
holds all parts together.
So…where is truth of identity. Is it in the front-side in-your-face
surface paint. Is it in the shadow and projection that the façade
creates. Or is it found in the intangible yet very active space
compressed between them.
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