I see the corners of a room as edges to be softened but also as a sacred space that is overlooked, humble and quiet. Moving my art to the corners is a way of bringing attention to the margins. It is a way of making spaces less severe and exerting strength of sentiment, intuition, emotion, vulnerability and intimacy.
In a prior series of sculptural works I padded the corners of a kitchen table as a symbolic act of protection. After the padding was removed from the table the bundles of cotton and tape became objects of intrigue and sources of comfort. I touched, looked, and studied their forms. I paid attention to the choice of cloth and the different tonal shadows it provided. I lost myself between the folds, crevices, and binding, finding security. This reminded me of the security I found as a child napping among the piles of unbleached cotton while visiting my grandmother who worked at the sock factory. As I considered the processes of working sculpturally with the table, I contemplated the mental and emotional pain that we experience and the ways we seek relief. I wondered if I could make objects that evoked a comforting experience using folds of fabric. Could I create healing spaces that also acknowledged suffering?
My process is rooted in the balance between material, concept, and process. For this installation I used blankets, t-shirts, table cloths, and vintage remnants because they carry a trace of their previous life with them. Cloth is traditionally used for covering and protection. For Taking the Edge Off I mined my memory for content using my own painful experiences.
The solace of cloth. The sound of a sewing machine. The experience of hiding in out-of-the-way places.
Four readings on the concept of beauty and a suggested schedule for completion:
Week 1: Read and respond: Dubuffet’s AntiCultural Positions, 1951(anticultural_positions)
Week 2: Read and respond: Elaine Scarry’s On Beauty and Being Just, 1998 (scarry_onbeauty.pdf)
Week 3: Read and respond: Dave Hickey’s On the Vernacular of Beauty, 1993 (hickey_beauty_selected_essays),1993
Week 4: Read and respond: Wolfgang Welsh’s The Return of Beauty?, 2007 (return_of_beauty)