all those other words

 

i know i haven't updated in quite a while, but i have a pretty big-deal post for today.  for the past month and a half (and really, the last year), i've been working on an installation piece for an exhibition opening at the sullivan galleries in chicago this friday.  the piece, 'all those other words', is a 17 page story written non-chronologically that i laser cut into birch plywood and set behind stained wooden doors.  i cannot say how proud i am with how the piece turned out, how happy i am that it looks so beautiful and reads so well, how utterly relieved i am that it's finally up and i don't have to worry about little tiny screws or super glue or nail guns anymore.  enjoy the photos - hopefully i'll post more after the opening!

 

the books:

 

 

during installation:

 

 

all up on the wall:

 

 

and a cut here, and a cut there

so.  for my third installation project, i'm working with text.  oh.  i suppose that's been my game all along, hasn't it?  this time, however, i'm working with it as a 3d material.  you all know from one of my last posts that i'm slightly obsessed with papercutting, paper crafting, paper everything.  i decided to try my own hand at cut paper, so i went out to my local utrecht (thank you 10% student discount), purchased a swivel x-acto knife and fancy cutting board, grabbed a roll of white easel paper and headed on home to my kitchen table work space.

this will be super easy, right?  i so naively thought to myself.  after my first few tries and the first few pangs of a cramped hand, however, i started to get a good rhythm.  and then it just started to click.  and then it started to look gorgeous.  i mean, i don't mean to toot my own horn, but the result is just fascinating - the paper ends up looking/feeling like lace, and the shadows that the lines create are lovely, ephemeral, delicate.  it's the shadows that i'm after, actually, in the final piece, but really, i couldn't have been more pleased with the visual in general.

the only thing that slightly irks me is the presence of the graphite on the paper.  i could not for the life of me figure out how i could cut out my writing without a guide right there on the paper (if i had a light table, it might be a different story).  does anyone have suggestions for the future?  fortunately, since the actual installation piece will be much larger and i just so happen to go to a pretty sweet art school, there are tools/machines like fancy laser and plotter cutters that will cut the shapes out for me, so i won't have to worry about the graphite on the final piece.  but in the meantime, with x-acto in hand, i'd like to come up with a way of getting this desired effect without the guide... and i have a feeling that erasing it post-cutting would just tear the thing into pieces.

i also love what happens to these discarded pieces of the papercut - they're so sweet, like tiny waves floating suspended on their own.  i'll continue sharing the stages to this final project, and i hope you enjoy the process as much as i do!

reference

second installation project - i decided to blasphemously tear pages out of an old 1965 dictionary and infuse them with my own writing.  over the course of a week and a half, i painstakingly (and yes, at times, those late nights, hitting f3 and then shift+f over and over again was indeed painful) searched through roughly twenty documents of my own writing that i've produced since last fall for whatever recognizable words i found on each page.  once found within a piece of my writing, i'd hand-write the sentence that word was used in over its original definition.  thereby claiming its definition as my own.

some of the pages went faster than others.  some strangely had no words that i could use, and so in those cases, i made up definitions for certain words.  or i would find interesting connections between the words that just so happened to be situated near each other.  or i experimented with hand-lettering of certain letters, words, images, etc.

the wallpapering itself took no time, but the entire project, layered together and spread out over the expanse of a wall in my studio, sparked such an interesting conversation about authorship, overload of information, hierarchy of text, positive vs negative space, and so many other things.  i truly enjoyed putting this together, and if given the opportunity, would absolutely cover an entire room like this.  i mean, why not?  now i know how to make my own glue.

sonnets upon sonnets

 

almost everyone has some sort of relationship with shakespeare. whether it be that awkward memory of having to memorize shylock's speech in freshman english, or finding that one line in that one sonnet that just so happens to speak to whatever is going on in your life, there's no doubt that for most of us, ole billy has struck some sort of chord.

for my first project in my art installation class, i decided to play around with accumulation and dismantling - in this case, the accumulation of text and chalk, the dismantling of shakespeare's sonnets as well as the concept of what it means to be a book, a collection.

it's incredibly interesting to see what happens when you start to layer words and sentences on top of each other. the negative space becomes positive, the blackboard starts to resemble a white notebook page, and the sonnets themselves become almost completely illegible (although that could also have something to do with the nature of my handwriting). i had such fun putting this together, and i definitely foresee more chalkboard art in my future.

what's your favorite sonnet? i'll always be partial to 116.

a new venture

good evening from the midwest!

so here i am in this lovely little city called chicago.  i've been tapping into my writer mind quite a bit (which makes sense, seeing as i'm here to, well, get a degree in writing), and just suddenly realized (with the help of a few persistent friends back east - you're right, you're right) that i haven't been on here in a while.  the truth is, i haven't been producing very much visual work of late, my time being taken up with story crafting and yoga practicing and lululemon lululemoning.  BUT.  i got a nice surprise in the mail the other day (ok, the other week - man time flies by in graduate school).  this past summer, for a few of my recently wedded friends, i designed custom made return address stamps as part of their gifts.  handwritten and consisting of their new names, these stamps were so much fun to create, and to see in their finished state.  so how lovely was it to receive a thank you note with the inked product on the back?  well, it was very lovely, thank you.

i'm thinking of producing these regularly, so if you know of anyone who would like a custom stamp, please forward the message on!  oh, and happy autumn - the past few weeks has been full of pumpkin scones, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread... with pumpkin carving to come this weekend.

cheers,

jilly