"Studies in Steel and Ink"
August 5th-September 30th 2011
STUDIES IN STEEL & INK is an ongoing body of work that began four years ago with a pilot v-ball extra fine ink pen. Each time a drawing is started a set of arbitrary rules is created and followed. A rule such as all lines must touch and create a square is one example. Following the rules allows the drawings to have intent and purpose without having a predefined end result. The drawings are abstract at first glance but further observation by the viewer can lead to comments such as, ”this looks like a ________.” This response is expected and encouraged because this is how I look at the drawings as well. It amazes and fascinates me that the simple rules can lead to complex narratives by the viewer.
The drawings lead me to explore similar ideas in steel. More specifically ¼” round bar hot rolled mild steel. The ¼” round bar reminds me of the line made by ink. The work is begun by cutting the steel into 1”, 2”, 3”, 4”, 5”, 6”, 7”, 8”, 9”, 10”, 11”, and 12” lengths. Having material at the ready is critical to the process as it allows the construction process to happen quickly. Working quickly gives the finished pieces a loose gestural quality. The steel becomes a texture or a structure; or combination of the two. The textures and structures reference the drawings without either being plans for the other. The structures are houses, churches, and barns. These are vital to a community. The textures are chaotic but equally vital as they express whimsy and disorder. I am interested in how the same material can be both tight and loose depending on how it is manipulated.
The steel & ink are materials I use to explore personal opinions about community and my place in it. Structure, rigidity, and rules are necessary for society to function but can only be successful when balanced with chaos, looseness, and disorder. This work explores the struggle to find such balance.