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AIR resident-artist project proposal for 'Waving Not Drowning'

to expand the scale of my work with newspaper collage


A two- to three- month print residency to experiment with process, technique and scale on Waving Not Drowning, an ongoing series of 2- and 3-D collage works made with hands excised from daily issues of the New York Times. (Two-dimensional collage works are on acid-free paper, sizes range from 6” x 4” to 18” x 24”.)



Through instruction and feedback from experts at AIR, I would like to create new and enlarged Waving Not Drowning art works to be presented within a gallery / installation setting (please see first image to right entitled, ‘installation maquette’). I want to go from inches to feet; turn the flat collage-works into wall-sized prints, and turn my paper-sculpture prototypes into floor-sized and/or kinetic sculptures. 


My personal artistic goals for the residency include:


-learning best practices for preparing / scanning / printing works for archival-preservation and enlargement;


-experimentation with printing processes on various materials for aesthetic quality, durability and longevity of works.



As an interdisciplinary artist unfamiliar with print / imaging arts processes, I am curious about the following:


What are the best practices for preparing to manipulate image scale on various materials to enlarge works and build them as floor sculptures?


Would it be possible to make an edition of enlarged archival prints of the 2-D series? Which papers and inks make for the best archival prints? In utilizing double-sided clippings from newspapers, what are the best scanning and printing protocols?


Which materials could be printed on / experimented with to “build out” the paper sculpture prototypes with good durability and at a larger scale? Wood? Metal? Vinyl? Mylar? Fabric? How might these dimensional works be fashioned as kinetic sculptures? How might they be fashioned as works of public art?

How might the technical, historical and aesthetic expertise from artists and experts at AIR inform and advance my understanding of the meaning of this body of work and its kinship the history of image printing and processes?

How might the content which I remove to make these works (the outline and hole or negative space of the hand which I have removed) be incorporated into building out new sculptural works? 


Waving Not Drowning

This is how I damn the rising tide; I look away from screens that scream, floods that follow what I watch, click, read, hear, say.

     I set aside the whole picture, and with it: facts, opinions, ads, stories, reviews, letters, obits, bylines, announcements, recipes, the weather, puzzles, headlines, advice, the news. With ink on my fingers, turning pages, with scissors, adhesive, and paper nearby, I claim hands from newspapers.

     Each culled hand’s a flattened reproduction; someone’s trace-ghost. Each collage is the labor of many; mine, photographers’, those who set plates to ink, load trucks, toss the paper near our front door.

     Through hand-holding, I rebuild. Free from context, the gestures breathe; hint, nudge, fly, wink, pray, flirt. A wing appears, and then, an eye; head, leg, mouth, eyebrow, skirt. Figures form: angel, protest, swan, dancer, god.

     This is how I wave, how I keep from drowning. Repurposing what will disintegrate, I make something old new again—as if its dying never was.


I'm most familiar with Artist Image Resource as a visitor to its exhibitions, and as a person who once or twice went to silkscreen t-shirts. But it's artist Vanessa German, whose closing-talk and exhibition I attended at AIR in 2016, and who, having seen the trajectory of my work with newspaper in my home studio, suggested that I consider applying to this particular print-based residency. Speaking of her own experience, Vanessa shared that she was both well-supported by AIR and incredibly challenged to grow as an artist. Walking through her exhibition in 2016, I was impressed by the breadth of her experimentation with new techniques and materials, and the thoughtful ways in which she utilized the gallery space. As I presently seek to grow as an artist and printmaker/sculptor, the idea of expanding the scale of Waving Not Drowning under AIR's roof, with its expertise, instructional support and lab setting for experimentation (and dialogue) is incredibly exciting and appealing to me!

     Though I live for most of the year with my husband in Los Angeles, I keep an apartment and studio in Pittsburgh which I return to regularly (which could provide me with cost-free housing for the length of a residency stay). I would also be delighted to work on my own, or with AIR, to seek funding for this residency opportunity.

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