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Staycation

2019

A startled polar bear poised on an ice floe faces off with a temperate-water whelk moving northward as the ocean waters warm.

The standoff is a consequence of the increasing acidity and temperature of the oceans, even at the North Pole, caused by global warming of the ocean waters itself due to climate change.

The ice floe is formed by nuggets of natural quartz beads (a semi-precious stone) and surrounded by a single strand necklace designed for this sculpture. The design incorporates off-white natural quartz beads, bright white freshwater pearls and beads of Murano glass encasing silver foil. The floe is adrift atop blue velvet, the fabric sewn to mimic waves.

The inspiration for this work followed a beach walk on Assateague Island (a national seashore close to my studio), where the warming waters have already begun to affect local fishing and empty seashells regularly wash up on the shore. The title refers to the trend of spending vacations at home — a trend that increased significantly with the onset of the 2020 pandemic.

Additional materials include a found object (the whelk shell), a realistic model of a polar bear, velvet, wood, and paper.

Custom framed with museum glass in a sophisticated deep wooden frame in collaboration with Chevy Chase Art Gallery, Washington, DC.

Price: USD 2,800.

Frame color: Black

Size (in inches): 9.75 x 21.75 x 4

Framing

Though many designs appear simple, each work in fact takes several months to create. The final version is rarely the one initially envisioned; the laws of gravity force numerous adjustments. Execution involves a multitude of skills, some of which are acquired specifically to achieve the desired artistic result. In fact, it took several years of experimenting before I even hit upon a technique for creating assemblages. 

The framing process is itself a component of the work, both conceptually and artistically. Though the frame is clean and modern in appearance, the framing process is not as simple as it seems. The determination whether to create a "room" (as with Born Free) or an intimate atmosphere (as with What Price Silence) is in fact part of the artistic process.  

Works are custom framed to provide sufficient depth to accomplish my artistic goals as well as to support the weight of the work (often 40-60 pounds). The 4-inch deep decorative wooden frame curves outward to bring the work closer to the viewer.  

As many designs are supported by the base as well as the backing, the framing process can be tricky. It took several months of experimentation to determine how to create a work that it was practical to frame. The glass protects the work from damaged caused by dust and dusting.

Assemblage silver frame model.jpg
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