Sunday, December 10, 2023

Open Studios, Local Community, Stuff About Me

 Yesterday, Mr. Darkness and I had a lovely walk over to Mt. Rainier and Brentwood, to the open art studios at Otis Street Arts Project and Art by the Tracks, the Washington Glass School, Portico, and the Brentwood Arts Exchange.

We had some terrific conversations and gave out several stickers with this blog address. So now seemed like a good time for a little reintroduction.

Sticker image: a chunk of melted green glass swathed in rusty wire

I started the Extinct Flightless Arts Collective alone, because I really wanted to be part of one. It has intermittently encompassed several other artists, but they are also busy elsewhere, so it often goes back to being just me. Please comment and share and let me know if you want to join up.  :-)

Me in a conductor's cap and white hazmat suit, in front of my Utopia Monster artwork
Giving a tour of the Biohazard Containment Facility
(aka my artist's talk about the Utopia Monster) at Virtual Del Fuego, 2021

I collect rusty metal and other found objects, and most of my work has been in smallish sculptural assemblages. Back in the 1990s I made a collage-based paper zine called DODO, and I tend to reach for the collage approach even in other media.

Oracule (Artomatic Takes Flight, 2014)

For a long time, I was also trying to write fiction -- or more often, trying to somehow become A Writer without doing very much actual writing work -- and my home still contains many, many notebooks and file boxes of old manuscript pages. I have been sorting through some of them, winnowing out old drafts, and tearing up pages to use in papier-mache.

Xeroxed paper images of a fetal bird in a jar, and physical objects including bones and sticks
My Novel Is Seeking Representation (detail) - Artomatic 2015

I am sober (10 years and 4 months now), and getting there somewhat paralleled or mirrored my shift from writing to visual media. Being A Writer was an identity I had been clinging to even though it did not fit, did not work, and mostly made me miserable. It was heavily intertwined with my bad drinking habits. I needed to destroy that version of my self-image, whether or not the scraps could be used in making something new.

Four figurines of Disney dwarves, variously immersed in four cocktail glasses
Sobriety Dwarves (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired)

Lately I do a bit of work as an art model, and I have been incredibly privileged to have a nesting partner whose day job can feed and house us both. I have shown my work in unjuried community shows -- Artomatic and the DC Arts Center's Wallmountables -- where I have sold a few pieces as well as making wonderful connections with other local artists. I've received several art grants from for creating temporary, interactive pieces at Playa Del Fuego (and, in times of covid, Virtual Del Fuego), but I find I am more drawn to making smaller, non-weatherproof objects.

Tiny lungs made from eyeglass parts, in a collaged wooden box.
All Breath Is Shared

Barbed-wire uterus
Every Sin But Littering

Assemblage made from rusty pipe, wire, old glass bottle, cicada wings
Dwell (Wallmountables, 2021)


Nina Hickson said...

Wonderful to hear that you went to the open art studios at Otis Street Arts Project and Art by the Tracks, the Washington Glass School, Portico, and the Brentwood Arts Exchange. Are you motivated to create a new art piece now? Happy New Year!!! Love you, Nina

flightless said...

I'm very motivated. Will post about this soon: Artomatic 2024 coming in March and April!