I am in the process of starting a new series I'm calling Boxed. I stumbled upon this concept while painting pedestals for our studio gallery. I'm quick to announce new series because I feel like it's a good thing to put out into the world thoughts and concepts that excite us. Sometimes I make premature announcements and a concept loses steam and falls by the wayside, but there's no harm in that. I feel strongly, for a number of reasons that this one will see the light of day and possibly then some.
I'm a fairly good recycler of things and pride myself in not being terribly wasteful. I do forget to shut the water off while brushing my teeth...nobody's perfect. Whenever possible, I pack my own artwork for shipping, using already used boxes. Sometimes they're boxes I've received things in; sometimes they're moving boxes still hanging out in our garage from previous moves.
It was one of these moving boxes that I split open and used in place of a tarp when painting the pedestals for our gallery. After 3 or so uses I began to fall in love with the outlines left behind and the wheels began turning in my squeaky, but still functioning brain. My first thought was to simply create large "industrial" decorative abstracts which I could offer at a lower price point (given their size) due to a lower production cost afforded by reusing materials rather than buying large canvases. I was also motivated by the idea of getting the chance to paint large with ease of storage. With this goal in mind I put paint to can-, wait no, cardboard.
As the first piece started to evolve the materials (not only used cardboard, but bits of tape and labels) inspired thoughts about what a moving box means. They hold our prized possessions, hopefully keeping them safe in transit. They hold and carry our lives (necessities as well as cherished items and memories) from one place to another; sometimes again and again, sometimes across the planet. They perform an incredibly important role in our life journeys yet we view them as dispensable and insignificant items. Only children seem to find new meaningful, if only temporary, second lives from them as forts or robot costumes. As a child I remember we would use them as sleds with which to slide down grassy hills. This is what I wish to explore with this new series. Who knew I'd be going on about a cardboard box like this?
At the moment I envision the pieces being abstract, but that is not to say that fragments of representational images won't make an appearance. I am also interested in possible collaboration or input from sources...meaning, I might ask that recently-relocated people provide me with a box from their move and incorporate narratives of their moves (reasons for the relocation, hopes for their new home or details about the items the box carried) into the works. Boxed is but an itty bitty newborn art baby right now and I hope to watch it grow and blossom into something substantial.
I hope all of this made at least a bit of sense. I am off to play with boxes.