Thinking Inside The Box

In my last post I mentioned that creating a piece for a theme can sometimes prove more of a challenge than expected. Each year we host two themed shows to start off the calendar at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. This year’s January show is titled 22 Squared. We installed this show yesterday morning, and there are as many interpretations of that title as there are artists in the gallery.

Now, you’d think that such a non-specific open-to-interpretation title would be easy to create for. But I was stumped. Most of my current work consists of art doll figure sculptures. I didn’t want to just create a doll, and put her into some contortionist pose, place her in or on a frame, or balancing on a box. Nothing stuck me.

Instead, I decided to take a step back, and think on the square. For a 3D artist this would mean a box. So I started by creating a wooden shadow box. Next, came a glass front for the box. Instead of a simple sheet of glass, I pulled out my stained glass stash and made a somewhat steampunk looking front.

For the interior, I thought on boxes themselves. What do we use them for? We use them to carry, to hold, to protect, to hide, or to contain. The box that I had made looked like it would protect something valuable, but also obscure and hide a bit of the contents. The steampunk flavor of the glass front lead me to a clockwork heart. We certainly try to protect and shield our hearts. This mechanical pacemaker needed someone to tend and maintain it. I recycled a simple figure from a previous piece to wind this delicate time piece and become The Clock Keeper. The interior was made complete with the addition of an antique looking paper with a pattern of watch faces that I applied to the back before installing the contents.

The Clock Keeper

The Clock Keeper

22 squared will be on display at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts from January 27th to February 23rd. The opening reception is this Friday the 31st from 6-9 pm.

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