There have been a lot of interesting things happening in the studio! Having the time and space to work at Mana Contemporary has been really great to explore many new processes in my work. I have several projects going at once! First, I have created 14 parochial collars total. All of them have been fabricated out of sheet metal and have been decorated with lace and various fabrics. The other component for this project is creating cast metal bows.
Currently, I am working with the Keating Foundry at Mana Contemporary to cast bows for the collars into bronze and aluminum.
The project I am working on in conjunction with the parochial collars are laser cut doily patterns. All of these patterns are cut out of wood and will act as pedestals for the collars. I am still figuring out how I would like to approach the bases I am constructing, but I am happy to report that the table top portion is done.
The next component of this project is addressing the walls in the space where the collars and the doilies would be housed. I have created a drawing that I would like to turn into a patterned wallpaper.
I have been researching victorian wallpapers to get an idea of colors and how I want to address the patterning. As of right now I am thinking pink wallpaper with red line work.
While I have been at Mana I have noticed that the common thread in my work is questioning standard symbols or behaviors associated with women. I want the work to question, critique, and expose the complex issues women are dealing with. Personally, I, like many other women have assumptions made about me because of my gender, my work addresses it by using humor, horror, and ironic relationships.
These concepts have lead to my material choices which are very industrial. However, I have also paired many of the heavier materials with things that are very delicate. For example the lace and trim paired with the metal collars and the handcuffs pictured above.
I have also been experimenting with plastic. I have made three rubber molds of 3 figurines. The initial idea I had for these pieces addresses the idea of a trophy and how it represents an accomplishment or a milestone. I wanted to create a trophy that represented milestones for women that weren’t necessarily worth celebrating such as first acne or when a boy bullies you because he likes you.
In order to get a sense of these forms, I decided to cast them in plastic since I am also playing around with the notion of these forms existing as toys. This particular body of work is not completely resolved yet, but I am enjoying the process. So far I am experimenting with the bubble gum pink colors that are emerging from the cast plastic pieces. Eventually I will cast these forms in wax to try an iteration that references trophies. Until then I am looking forward to seeing what emerges with these new pieces!
By Katie Hovencamp