Sep 24, 2011

Writing an artist's statement when you're not an artist...

 I'm participating in FOE (Festival de l'Outaouais Emergent) in a couple of weeks, from Sept. 8th to 11th.  While I'm really excited, I'm also really nervous!  I keep worrying that I don't have enough merchandise to stock my table, or that none of it will sell, or that it will all sell and then I'll have to sit at an empty booth for 3 days (yea right).

I was asked by the organizer the other day to submit an artist statement for my work.  The only problem is, I'm not really an "artist" at the moment, and I don't feel like I'm making art!  I've been over and over the question of what art is a million times when I was in art school.  There are so many answers and none of them seem to be wrong.  My own personal definition has to do with intent.  If the person who made it says it's art, then it's art, within reason.   Although perhaps it's not fair of me to assign a condition based on my own personal bias to someone else's work.  Who am I to define something so subjective and personal to someone else?

The point is, what I'm doing at this moment doesn't feel like art, but has the same process as my artwork would normally have.  I guess you could call it "wearable fabric sculpture", but I prefer to call it "hair accessories".  See my dilemma?  Of course I could fluff it up, lie through my teeth and clumsily impose some kind of meaning to the work.  Honestly I just like making things that are fun and pretty, and I enjoy the actual process of it all; hand sewing, placing tiny beads in just the right place, fussing over every minute detail. So, shag it, I thought.  I'll just write about that!  Here it is, my "not art" artist statement!

I have always enjoyed the physical process of creating, whether with a pencil, a camera, or a needle and thread.  The more time and energy it takes to make, the more I enjoy it!  The Elephant Studio is a way for me to make a life at exhausting all my ideas and letting my hands create what ever I want, as soon as it comes to mind.

I'm really inspired by ornate costumes from the past, clothing from other cultures, art nouveau, and fashion in general.  Although we can't all dress like Marie Antoinette or a Chinese empress every day, I like to create pieces that impart a whisper of that fantastic luxury when worn, and blend their intended function with some sort of elegant or quirky visual appeal.  My hope is that people enjoy wearing the pieces as much as I enjoy creating them.