Tuesday, August 25, 2009

St. Louis Artists' Guild- Ann-Maree Walker

EXHIBITING GALLERY: St. Louis Artists' Guild
TITLE OF SHOW: Head to Toe: From the Funky to the Sublime
OPENING DATE AND CLOSING DATE: September 20th, 2009- November 7th, 2009
CURATOR: Lindsay Obermeyer
SHOW DESCRIPTION: A juried exhibition that will challenge the notion of functionality yet honor the tradition of wearable art. Work shown will range from head to toe, the Funky to the Sublime and the functional to the non-functional. All textile techniques are encouraged.

St. Louis Artists' Guild
Two Oak Knoll Park
St. Louis, Missouri 63105

Submitted by Artist: Ann-Maree Walker
  • Tell us a bit more about yourself: your location, professional affiliations, personal stuff…

I am an artist who lives in Saint Louis. I graduated in the Spring of ’08 with my MFA from Washington University. I currently teach in the Art departments of Washington U and Florissant Valley Community College and am the Research Assistant at the Saint Louis Art Museum for the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs.

  • Could you do your art without an audience? How important is feedback?

I think this is the most complicated part of my work that I want to continually evolve. I think that audience is the most essential part of completing a piece. I use textiles and fibers because of the “functional” and “wearable” qualities of the work. I want the viewer to think through the use and function of the piece and in some cases participate in the act of wearing and using the work. I want the work to go beyond the qualities of an “art object” and become more about performance and transformation.

  • How does your process of creating an art object begin?

For better or worse my art practice always begins in my head. I am inspired by reading, movies, music and pop culture. I am not the type of artist who goes to the studio and explores and manipulates material until I feel like I have arrived at something (though I often wish I was free to be this way.) Through writing, sketches, calculations and a lot of cerebral manipulations I will finally commit to a nearly fully formed idea and begin the process of making the work. However, I prize the mystery and intuitive methods of some of my favorite artists and would like to move towards a more instinctive way of working.

  • Name your top five: musicians, books, movies, websites, artists… (provide a link to websites or artists websites if at all possible)

This is a list of artists who I think have used fibers and wearable art in the most interesting ways.

Annette Messager: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2009/mar/05/annette-messager-hayward-retrospective

Rebecca Horn: http://www.rebecca-horn.de/pages/biography.html

Louise Bourgeoise (Stitches in Time): http://www.recirca.com/reviews/louisebourgeois/index.shtml

Jana Sterbak: http://www.janasterbak.com/images.html

Nick Cave: http://www.jackshainman.com/dynamic/artist.asp?ArtistID=23

Lucy Orta: http://www.studio-orta.com/artwork_fiche.php?fk=&fs=1&fm=0&fd=0&of=4

Sara Lucas: http://www.tate.org.uk/tateetc/issue5/encounters5.htm

Ann Hamilton: http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/hamilton/#

Tracy Emin: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturereviews/3557865/Tracey-Emin---dirty-sheets-and-all.html

Ernesto Neto: http://www.armoryonpark.org/index.php/programs_events/detail/ernesto_neto_in_the_wade_thompson_drill_hall/

Mona Hatoum: http://www.whitecube.com/artists/hatoum/

  • Define fiber art through your lense as an artist or audience member.

Fiber art has a very specific history that, for better or worse, comes into play in the reading of an artwork. The history of women’s work, craft, fashion and industry all come together in the media of fiber art. I think the most successful artists are very cognizant of this tie to history and elaborate on or exploit these ideas. My interest in using the textile media stems from my interest in identity. Until recently, Western Philosophy considered our identities tied to our mind and souls. Current philosophers and theorists tie identity to the external. French Feminist, Judith Butler describes the body as a tablet where signification and identity are formed as external influences inscribe themselves into the flesh. I see the body as a canvas onto which we apply our identity, consciously and unconsciously. For this reason fashion, accessories and even technological devices become a vehicle for identity and the body a site for a variety of cultural power plays.

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