Friday, October 15, 2010

Artist Village Project

Beginning of Artist Village

I have been working with bringing more dimension to my work and what better way to try it then making a soft sculpture of an adobe style home? Growing up in New Mexico, the predominant architectural style is Southwest Adobe which is a blend of both Native American as well as Spanish cultures and influences. The Anasazi Indians dating back to the time of Christ were well known for their cliff dwellings and later, pueblo style of living. Their homes resembled stacked rectangular units made of mud. When the Spaniards came to New Mexico in the late 1500s, they began adopting the pueblo style of architecture but with a few differences. Mud adobe bricks were assembled with straw and homes were set apart from one another. Still, centuries later, the two styles merged together to reflect the blending of both cultures. This contemporary southwest adobe is reminiscent of the neighborhood in which I grew up. To mimic this in 3D using fiber has been a challenge. I wanted the piece to be durable and consequently,  choices with regards to materials used for structure and foundation were extremely important. The structural forms, I chose resemble styrofoam but are actually ethofoam, a product that when bent does not snap in two as would styrofoam. The walls are composed of layered and quilted fabric with fused windows and doors.  The colors employ the traditional earth tone browns and peaches accented with turquoise trim and red rug weavings and chili ristras. This piece is still a work in progress. It will have 5 interconnecting units with vigas incorporated and the roofs will be finished in the traditional style. Pottery will be displayed to further give that Southwest feel. I am stringing a chili ristra and will paint the woven rugs to impart a darker maroon red rather than orangy red. I had thought about making an "chimenea," a traditional outdoor stove but realized it would come down to the stove or the ladder. One would have to be sacrificed and I really like the way the ladder looks at the moment. Though, it is still in the planning stage and anything can still change at this point, for now, I will finish the two remaining units and the tops on all five, one level at a time and see where it takes me. Normally, I do not post works in progress but perhaps I should more often. The finished piece will be set on a twelve inch square and be approximately twenty inches in height. This piece is intended to be part of a collaboration with fourteen international artists and will collectively be called The Village Project. Should be interesting to see what everyone comes up with!


Diana Ramirez said...

Barb, after chatting with you today I had to come back and take another look at this project. It really is amazing fiber sculpture/architecture. I think it is fabulous and hope to see it in person soon. Thanks for sharing.

Barb Forrister said...

Thanks, Dee. Looking forward to it's completion, soon. We are not supposed to show the finished piece but maybe we can get together when it's done and you can see it in person.