Mike and I headed over to the Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria campus and got to chat a bit with artist, Kate Fitzpatrick about an upcoming article in Whurk Magazine featuring our images included in this Blog. If you're interested in checking out the exhibit visit their Facebook page for information and feel free to read below about each piece.
The Universal Power Paradox
Power is becoming vital to our existence. The largest structures we have built leave us vulnerable. We look to those in power to supply us with power. However, we love at the mercy of our planet supporting us.
Satellites allow us to research the weather, earth, and universe. We possess the intelligence to travel into space. Although, we rick not leaving any impression in time. Our rise or demise will be determined by the way we use our resources.
Inverted Rank: Shifting Gear
Jennifer Lillis and Giacomo Gamble
Bicycles serve as a primary mode of transportation. Often times after catastrophe, systems of communication and transportation are broken down, causing the shifts in social power. By breaking bicycles down to their base components, we manipulate the function of its mobility to inverse the power in a capitalist society to knowledge based on archaic structures.
When disasters occur, it is more than just a residence that is lost, it is the loss of personal items and family heirlooms. These altered books represent that loss. A circular pattern is cut into the center of the book, causing it to lose all meaning and functional purpose. The layered cuts mimic the weather pattern at the center of a large storm, known as the stadium effect. The term stadium effect can also be interpreted another way - when the public watches natural disasters unfold, it becomes a spectacle. It becomes harder to empathize when it tragedies happen everyday. These books are a reminder of the people behind the disasters.
Refuge: Under Its Own Weight
Erica Hopkins and Emily Fussner
Wire and flax paper pulp
"...a house built by and for the body"
"When the gold eagle nests in a tree, it sometimes makes an enormous pile of branches to which every year it adds others, until one day the entire thing falls to pieces under its own weight."
"Would a bird build its nest it is did not have its instinct for confidence in the world?"
-Gaston Bachelard, on nests
The Poetics of Space
The nest is one of the most basic shelters: a primitive refuge at once secure and delicate. It is a sanctuary, made from available materials with care by the dweller. In all its wonder and sense of home, hope and protection, a nest carries a paradox: it is fragile and precarious. Though it may one day blow away again in a storm, or crumble beneath its own weight, we rebuild - for we must restore our home, our wonder.
This installation is a site-specific response to the architecture of the gallery space, particularly the massive windows. We used our hands, arms, and the lengths of our bodies to shape segments of wire, dipped each individually in pulp of various pigments, and then wove them together to construct the nest you see before you.
Kate Fitzpatrick and Kerry Hentges
Canvas, grommets, red thread, watercolor, pine
A canopy temporarily protects, shields, and provides cover from outside elements. These kinds of makeshift shelters are formed when people forage for possible items that are remaining after a natural disaster. Although these kinds of shelters are temporary and made with found items that come apart of lose strength, people are linked and reconnected through the process of rebuilding.
The use of the canvas in "Canopy" is meant to evoke the process of stitching together the pieces after the disaster, and the sometimes fragile nature of the reconstruction process. The faded black lines on the canvas pieces represent political borders of countries where the events of a disaster will inevitably cause more displacement and dislocation. The red thread acts a reminder, not only showing us how we are all connected bu the connections that occur during the rebuilding and construction period.