Since many of you will not see the exhibit in person, I wanted to share a few of my plans for my upcoming solo show at the Grants Pass Museum of Art in Oregon this April. I also think it’s fun to get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to make an idea come to fruition. It’s been a lot of planning to get to this point, but I think I’ve got it fairly organized and ready to go. The title of the show is ‘where art & nature meet’ and I’ll be showcasing 6 large installations from my Rock Candy, Relic, Hive, Bone, Lichen and Umbel Series. The installations will be shown alongside photos of the work as it was installed in nature. For this show, I wanted to highlight the works as they look in their ‘natural habitat’ while also creating engaging installations in the gallery setting.
Above is a selection of photos of the Rock Candy Series Installation in progress. Nearly 200 rocks were made and glazed, they have holes in the backside so that they can hang on the wall. Then I created a paper template and laid out the rocks to create a Rock Candy Ribbon that will wrap around 3 walls of the gallery, a total of about 18′. In the third photo above, you see blank areas in the paper template, this is where the 12″ x 12″ photos printed on metal of the Rock Candy Series as they were installed in a rock crack at Joshua Tree will hang interspersed with the actual rocks.
Fingers crossed it looks as good as I think it will!!
I want to leave some of these installations as surprises but I will share one more from the Umbel Series. I have 60 out of the original 230 of the Umbel flowers left and I wanted to recreate a path of them in the gallery as I had done for the Art at the Arboretum exhibit. The museum wasn’t keen on the idea of drilling holes in their floors to put the Umbel stems into the floor (surprise surprise!). So, I had square metal bases cut and welded onto 60 of the metal rods- this photo is them piled up in the back of my Subaru hatchback! Now I can position them on the gallery floor to create my path with no holes required – win!win! There will be three large photos printed on metal that will hang on a wall towards the end of the path showing what the installation looked like when it was installed at the UCSC Arboretum.
Ok, that’s all the teasers for now… let me know what you think!
I’ve been working on an installation of my Rock Candy Series for my upcoming solo show at the Grants Pass Museum of Art and thought I’d share a little video of the process. I made 100+ of these rocks, glazed them in a variety of bright colors and they will be installed in a ribbon of them wrapping around a wall in a section of the gallery interspersed with photos of them as they were installed ‘in the field’ at Joshua Tree National Park. I love how they start out as these lumpy potato shapes and end up angular and sharp – they’re just begging to be touched!
Looking forward to seeing you at the studio May 6th & 7th and maybe this beauty with my favorite red glaze could be yours!
About the Series:
The Rock Candy Series are inspired by the flow of water and how it shapes the land. The hard angled ceramic shapes juxtapose the curvy flow of natural forms to create a dynamic visual engagement. These colorful ceramic rock forms are intriguing objects whether mounted on the wall, in the garden or in small compositions on driftwood.
These brightly colored gems started off in the desert for an In the Field photo shoot. Wedged in the crack of a large boulder in Joshua Tree, the Rock Candy pieces glowed with color contrasting against the smooth natural rock formations. They appear to belong to the space and yet to be completely foreign all at the same time. The pieces were originally inspired by my time climbing the walls at the rock gym. Brightly colored plastic hand and foot holds scattered across the walls in seemingly random patterns, but are composed into routes that provide unique challenges for the climber. The Rock Candy River was installed on the gym walls as a temporary installation. The curving movement of the form is contrasted by the angular formations of the ceramic rocks while mimicking the bright colors of the climbing holds on the walls.
Finally the Rock Candy pieces were transformed once more into small wall sculptures that bring the inspiration of nature into your home. Carefully selected driftwood pieces combined with the ceramic rock forms find where art & nature truly meet. These pieces are designed to be wall mounted but they can also be placed on a flat surface as a unique table centerpiece. The organic design of these pieces allow them to fit into small spaces while still creating an impact making them versatile for any home. There are only five pieces left in this series, priced at $125 each, they make a perfect gift for the climber, rock collector or nature lover in your life.
I started making these small handheld gems not really sure what I was going to do with them, but I loved how they contrasted to everything else I was making in my studio at the time. They were geometric, angular, brightly colored and very attractive to touch and hold. Once I had a few boxes filled with them, I took them along on a roadtrip to the desert. I thought they might work there as an installation there and I hoped that the color would pop against the desert landscape. This piece was the result of experimenting with these forms, it was a temporary installation in a rock fissure at Joshua Tree. After seeing them installed, I started thinking about how the land was shaped, with the flow of water and magma creating these organic rock formations. The angled ceramic shapes juxtaposed the smoothness of the rock while the brightly colored pieces contrast the natural tones of the landscape bringing awareness to the negative space of the crack. I imagine that these pieces are like the inside of a geode tucked into a rough outer shell that when cracked open reveal these bright gems; irresistible to touch.
Once the pieces returned to the studio, I decided to find a way to make an indoor installation with them. I was spending a lot of time climbing the walls at Pacific Edge Climbing Gym in Santa Cruz CA and these pieces seemed very appropriate for the space. I was lucky enough to be allowed a temporary installation on one of the few walls that doesn’t have climbing holds on it. This piece was titled the Rock Candy River and is available for purchase.
With the remaining rock candy pieces I had left, I decided to modify them for smaller spaces. I collected driftwood from a local beach and I chose wood pieces that felt like they had been modified by the elements of nature, they all had interesting textures and curves to them. Back in the studio, I matched the rock candy angles to the curves of the wood and made these wall pieces that make it easy to include a bit of nature in your home.
It’s always interesting to see the evolution of a form or a shape that happens to find its way into your studio practice. I love to experiment with each form and see how many places I can take it and whether it will work on a small scale as well as a really large scale, if it needs to be grouped to be visually interesting or if it can hold its own. How each environment that surrounds it can change the feel of the form, from a barren rock to an urban setting. This placement of my work is a huge part of the creative process for me and I hope you enjoy the results.
So, full disclosure, I was a ‘Dalzell’. Yup, these are my parents and they are supporters of the arts (including my art!). I got to take a snapshot of one of my newest pieces in their home when I was back visiting a few weeks ago. This one is from the Rock Candy Series and while I designed these to be wall mounted, they look great as a centerpiece for a table too. My parents live along a waterway that leads out to the bay and they’ve decorated with lots of underwater themed art work and colors, so the driftwood in these pieces goes perfectly with the feel of their home.
New pieces from my Rock Candy Series are now available in the SHOP! These were first exhibited at Open Studios this fall, now there are only 6 of these beauties left and at $125 each, they are priced to sell! The ceramic rock forms are affixed to locally found driftwood in intriguing compositions. Small enough to fit anywhere and big enough to make an impact in your space! The driftwood has a small hanger on the back so indoors or out, they can be displayed wall mounted or placed on a table surface to create a fantastic centerpiece. If you’re local to Santa Cruz County, order online and pick up at the studio for FREE!
You know that person in your life who is always collecting rocks and shells at the beach? They need one of these.
Got a chance to swing through the preview exhibit for Open Studios 2015 at the Santa Cruz Art League yesterday. The diversity of talent and creativeness in this county is overwhelming, I’m humbled to be included in this group. I also discovered that my piece had already sold and to put the icing on the cake, it was purchased by a fellow artist whose work I respect greatly; Liz Crain– if you aren’t familiar with her work, click the link and prepare to be wowed by her ceramic work. Feeling the love today!
Hope to see you all at Open Studios October 10, 11, 17 & 18 from 11 – 5
767 Cathedral Dr Aptos | Artist # 254