Above: Juicy Sunrise, 2020.
This piece is not about the coronavirus. This post is a half-hearted apology/ stammering explanation for having bad timing.
I got tired last fall of working on glass vases. I wanted to use the same technique I use for them, but on a larger scale with more luminosity. After submitting a Saturn-themed proposal for a mini golf hole in October, I hit on the idea of making the Saturn of the golf hole a disco ball and embellishing it. I got very excited and found someone selling their 20-inch, vintage, slightly damaged disco ball and bought it.
I had a mercury crackle glass vase on hand that I started making woven bead tiles for. This became Blue Sun. I loved the effects I was getting by layering glass and reflective bead woven tiles over mirror. It became Blue Star vase. That piece was a study for a luminous sun that I wanted to make.
Meanwhile, there was going to be a long wait on the golf proposal and I really wanted to embellish a disco ball. It was calling to me from it's enormous box. I had finished Solar Panels a month or two prior, and I wanted another piece that celebrated clean energy sources. It's taking a long time to develop efficient fusion power reactors, and I am impatient. I decided to fulfill a wish by bringing the power of the Sun to Earth. The piece would be optimistic, joyous, and celebratory. I decided to make it a sunrise.
Which is good because a high-noon yellow sun doesn't offer much for tonal variations so I opted for a color palette like a sun close to the horizon that is glowing like a red/pink piece of citrus fruit. I was designing this piece and sourcing & mixing bead colors in November and December. Sometime in December I started weaving the first tiles for Juicy Sunrise.
Concerning reports started coming in on Twitter and news sources about a new killer flu-like disease emerging in China.
Weave, weave, weave, weave, weave.
The days went on. The reports out of the orient got more concerning. Then it spread to other countries. Around the time I finished Juicy Sunrise the first renderings of the novel conronavirus were being circulated like a WANTED poster and it looked a lot like my sculpture. I am quick to defensively point out, though, that my sculpture does not have the characteristic coronavirus nobbies. So you must acquit.
Anyway, I'm using it as the featured image on my landing page. I'd say I will try to do better but this is a coincidence and tone deaf I stan for the utopian dream of nuclear fusion power.
a Top: Liza Lou, Wall Terra, 2018
Bottom: Studio Olafur Eliasson's Moss Wall from 1994.
I hope you are doing all right coping with the pandemic. I am excellent aside from anxiety regarding the danger to the health of loved ones. I have a new appreciation for Clorox wipes.
I have plenty to do.
I am developing a new major project but it's complicated and I have to teach myself how to weave the look and shape I want for the different components. I anticipate a lot of minor study pieces coming about in the next few weeks.
The Liza Lou works pictured in this post and Olafur Eliasson's lush moss wall are inspirations. Lou's weavings are hyperbolic and she's weaving with different sized beads. I'd love to try out the algorithm that she and her team used to get this texture and form. But I don't have it & can't script kiddie Liza Lou bead blobs. I have to build my own little beasties.
The 12" or so hyperbolic beadweaving that I've been growing here and there over the past two years is pictured above. That sphere is nothing but woven beads and thread. It's called "The Rose" and it's an homage to Jay DeFeo's chunky monolith by the same name at the Whitney Museum. (Here is a link an heirloom shot of Liza Lou posing with with DeFeo's Rose.)
The Eliasson work is completely organic and must feel and smell magnificent, especially when it is still a little fresh and green like the wall pictured above. Love him. He's a wizard.
So while keeping an eye on the health and welfare of my family, I'm tinkering around. So far, I have hit on a good algorithm for making a flatter form that reminds me of lichen. But I want this, which might be a stochastic, random-size-bead, round peyote hyperbolic weave:
Oh, the irony. The subtitle of this show is "Art as a Means to Well Being" April 16 to May 22, 2020 at Northern Illinois University. The curator asked me to participate because, "I want your work to touch on the importance of the sun, the moon, the universe and our need to be in touch with that to be well." Okay. Cool. Cool.
Unfortunately, C19 cases are spreading like wildfire and the campus might be closed by then. Standing by...
NIU requested an artist statement relating to the theme of the exhibit. I though about including the amount of digits of pi in each piece but decided that was too dorky:
“Very Well, Thank You” Artist Statement
It is healthy for us humans to be mindful of our place in the universe and our home world. By doing so we can overcome the draining ruminations or mitigate the stressful minutiae of our daily lives. We can refresh and reboot our attitude and perspective by periodically expanding our focus and immersing ourselves into the big picture. By seeking to understand and appreciate the sublime vastness of our universe and celebrate our place in it we can lead happier, healthier lives and perhaps be better able to cope with life’s challenges.
NimbusMoon, piSun, and piRipples are a series of flat round glass bead weavings. The technique involves orbiting outward in a spiral from a central point. In search of creating a rich, painterly field and wanting to use an appropriate algorithm for the design, I adopted the use of color coding the beads with the digits of pi. The colors used to encode pi were changed for the different color zones of the works.
Flat Earth was also woven in an increasing spiral from a center point. This piece was conceived as a fantasy model of a flat Earth. This Earth would rotate like an LP on a turntable and have a dynamic atmosphere.
Exodus is a free form bead mosaic with woven star elements. Nothing is static or constant. Like us, even the stars in the sky are not immutable. Even they are in a state of dynamic flux.
Julie Mars' current events, projects, & inspirations.