Monday, June 15, 2009

Final show - Topo Map: Ridges

Two days after the class final show I was off to Bryce and Zion National Park for get-away time. It was nice to finally have a break from deadlines of work and class and only have to accomplish what was in front of you, be it sitting and looking out the window at the passing scenery, hiking up a trail, or just sitting down for a nice dinner.

Now it's time to catch up with what we all produced for the final fiber art show. I may not post all of the projects, but will put up the ones I feel will show well on the blog. Almost of these look better "in person" my cheap camera can't capture the detail many of these have.

I'll start with mine, it's called "Topo Map: Ridges" rather than go on with a long discussion, I let you read the artist statement and come to your own conclusions. The size is 48" x 30" and is made out of dyed burlap in several layers.

The detail photo shows a bit more of the 3-D aspect of the piece. The topo lines are perpendicular to the rest of the burlap. Sometimes I would cut and pull out fibers to let the layer below show and in some places I would add dyed burlap parts to the top layer to get the effect I wanted.

Artist Statement

I create maps to help people explore new places.

I grew up on a farm in the Midwest, and I feel a real kinship with the land. I like the way the machinery imposes its crop-growing grid upon the land, but I like even more the way natural features such as rivers, boulders and trees break up that grid. As a child, I’d curl up on the couch and pore over maps from around the country. What were those places like? How were they different from Minnesota? What would it be like to travel there?

When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I saw my first topographical map and learned that all those squiggly lines show changes in elevation – what an interesting way to show information. When I flew, the view from airplane windows gave me three-dimensional information about the land. When I rode my bike cross-country and in other states, I learned first-hand about topography as I climbed mountains, battled headwinds, smelled the salt air and felt the changing weather.

Today, I make my own version of topographical maps. I see narrowly spaced multiple lines and I feel a sharply ascending mountain or a dizzying canyon; languidly spaced lines show me the open plains.

I invite the audience to explore the world as I see it. Walk over the earth’s crust, travel through canyons, peer over the edge of the crater, or feel the coolness of a forest.

My maps show more than roads.

Flying home yesterday from Phoenix we ended up going over what I think was Canyonlands National Park. I snapped a few photos from the plane (the only good reason to be on a airplane) thinking this will maybe help explain where I'm coming from.

I plan to produce more of these "maps" for awhile, exploring the idea and materials.