Thursday, July 24, 2008

Art Blog: Installations

Still digitizing! In fact, I spent hours last night just trying to divide the slides into categories. Not only have I been an artist for a long time; I have made a lot of work! One of the most exciting things about scanning slides of all this past work is seeing things you haven’t seen in years. Some of my work was documented with slides only. I have no hard copy photos. So as I go through my huge tub of slides, there are so many surprises.

One category of work that I am so excited to see are my installations. I did installation pieces for years. I stopped doing them for a number of reasons. First, often they are costly. They aren’t for sale, so you can’t recoup any of the costs. Another reason I stopped creating installations is because they take too much space to store. They look great in a gallery setting, but then you get all the stuff back to your studio you ask “Where am I going to put all this?”
Even with the drawbacks, I loved doing them. Now, I love seeing them again. One such installation was titled “Me as You, The Installation”. This was such a dream project. The Detroit Artist Market Gallery was having a fund raiser. They asked a number of artists to create installations on the street in front of the gallery. The really cool part is the artists got a stipend AND a materials allowance. I bought rolls and rolls of mylar and sheets of plexiglas. I had this wood sculpture titled “Me as You” and wanted to put it in an environment. I chose to do my installation IN the fountain in front of the gallery. My original idea was to incorporate a mylar back drop to intermix with the waterfall section of the fountain. I built a plexiglas pedestal for the sculpture. I planted two trees in buckets of cement. I created a woodframe work to hold the mylar in place.
I arrived early the morning of the event. Me and a helper put on tall boots and waded through the water and tried to place the stretched mylar under the waterfall. No sooner did we get it under the rolling water, the mylar started to shed to smithereens. OMG!!! I am reminded of Tim Gunn on Project Runway when he says “MAKE IT WORK”! I pulled the framework out in front of the waterfall and restretched more mylar. It worked out even better because the water was gently hitting the back of the mylar. It shook and shimmered. It looked cool! I placed the sculpture and the trees. Then I put bunches of silver, multi-shaped blocks that floated like boats in the water. The effect was fabulous!!


“Me as You, The Installation” by Sheree Rensel


Just to give you an idea of the scale, here is the dinner tent in front of the installation. It was so fun that night to sit, eat, talk, and look over at my installation!

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