Statement

 

Sofia Sharpe

Review 2011

 

Since I began at Mills I was faced with some challenging questions.  It has been a continuous journey of deciphering and articulating the vocabulary of my interests.  Each consecutive project was a probing investigation that often felt distant from it’s predecessor, leading me to question if I was starting over at square one.  But with the resolution of each project I understood how it fell in line with my direction, and although I often felt like I was veering off course they were actually smooth, uniform loops like the coil of a telephone cord, which, when pulled taught is a solid straight line.

The transition of moving into a new studio and devoting my full time to art was tricky in the beginning.  I needed to clear my head for myself to really open up to the challenges I came here for.  I decided to clear things down to the basics and give myself an assignment: to assess a system or a material that I considered a building block.  This term applied to a variety of items I encountered frequently but was taking for granted, or completely unaware of. The idea was to investigate these items through observation and experimentation so that I could rediscover their natural qualities that made them super stars to begin with. The inherent attributes of these items can derive a magical result when applied to a simple set of rules. Within such parameters I played around so that I could rediscover the magic for myself and rebuild my relationship with that which I had come to take for granted.

Moving into the second semester I gave myself another assignment.  I wanted to release myself from the grasp of the precious object that can be so burdensome for a producing artist. The new challenge was to make work that would not last forever or would result in a minimal amount of artifact. My time in the studio was also limited and not conducive for crafting and spending lengthy time on one piece.  I decided I needed to move quickly through some projects to expedite the process that opens up to revelations while working. I spent an entire weekend working on the Dirty 30, a series of quick installations and still lifes consisting of items found in my studio. Each piece only lasted until it was properly documented.  This project went even further in my attempt to break down a given item, to the point that is stripped of it’s context and function, leaving only the physical remains of form, color, and association.

This idea of erasing the context and function and focusing on the formal qualities is incredibly intriguing to me. To be able to reduce one’s self to the moment of now and to focus on only what lies in front of you—these are the moments I am interested in locating.

 

 

 

 

 

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