Filtering by Category: Situations

the big white guy... re-vamped

Added on by Jourdan.
Last week I re-worked the piece I made for Redux last winter, Situation Ossification, so that it could fit into the CofC student gallery. This meant shaving off some length and width and re-shaping the contour, which proved to be a rather simple task. I worried about compromising the integrity of a site-based piece... perhaps I still do. But I'm glad it gets to have a longer life. And to reach a new audience.

Situation Destination

Added on by Jourdan.
While I was installing at the library, Becky Melancon, the sweet lady who organizes/coordinates the gallery space, snapped a few in-progress installation shots. Accompanying each photo is cute commentary, which is why rather than re-posting the photos here, I'd like to redirect you to the library's Saul Alexander Gallery Exibit, June 2010 flickr album... CLICK HERE to see more

For those curious as to how this piece came together...
  • first the steel armature was constructed as one unit
  • then I added seam lines and cut it apart into 12 pieces
  • rented a U-HAUL truck to get everything to the library
  • assembled parts using bailing wire... 2 at a time
  • covered outer part of structure with plastic cling wrap
  • using a spray adhesive, covered with pink fiberglass insulation (or "fluff" as I like to call it)
The day after I finished I had to go and patch a humongous hole... looked like someone had shoved their foot right through it. I've also patched several finger poked holes. As frustrating as it is (particularly because I will be gone for the remainder of the exhibition and unable to make any repairs) I can't help but feel glad that folks feel comfortable enough in the space to do as they please. I want it to be approachable and friendly. Not sterile and intimidating like most gallery environments. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that people behave and don't cause any more significant damage in the remaining 2 weeks of the piece's life!

Situation Destination

Added on by Jourdan.
I finally finished the piece, and I must admit I'm kind of bummed... bummed that I no longer have an excuse to hang out in the gallery and talk to people and hear their reactions. That's my absolute favorite part of what I do. I've been SO happy these past couple of days. The library is the perfect place for my kind of work. I was initially concerned that it wouldn't get much exposure in the space, but I couldn't be more thrilled about the audience that it's reaching. There have been kids galore... and I really, really, really love kids. My work is very much inspired by them and their unrestrained curiosity and enthusiasm.It's really neat how the space takes on different personalities at different points in the day... at times it will be full of energy, kids running around, rolling around, dancing, etc. At other times it is more subdued and calm... a place to come and read books, to relax, or perhaps even to take a nap (had several kids tell me it made them sleepy.)

went to go get some more materials and came back to find this (!!!)

oh you know, just doing some calculus homework...

coming soon... Situation Destination

Added on by Jourdan.
On June 1st I will begin installation of my latest large-scale piece. I will be transforming the Saul Alexander Gallery at the Charleston County Public Library downtown, and I couldn't be more excited. This will be the first time that I will have the opportunity to fill an entire space, without regard to other people's work. Granted, it's not a very big space... but it's just right for what I'm going to do. Below is my "statement" that went out in the library's press release for the show...

(scale model for Situation Destination)

Situation Destination, designed for the Charleston County Public Library, both conceptually and structurally, is the fourth piece in my ever-evolving body of large-scale site-specific installations, or “situations.” In my work I am very much concerned with surrounding spaces, and in cultivating, within these spaces, temporary experiences that engage the viewer on multiple levels.

Visually, I like to work with forms that are both interesting and appealing. The soft, undulating shapes tend to be biomorphic in design. Though they may resemble living organisms or forms found in nature, they are, at the same time, intentionally non-representational, leaving the viewer the freedom to make of it what he or she wishes. In contrast with the natural evocations of the form, the structure itself is constructed in a manner reminiscent of 3D computer graphics. Grid-like and rigid, it exposes the contrivance of the manmade, the fabricated environment.

I should note that I greatly dislike the term “viewer,” for my work is not designed simply for viewing. It is to be experienced, through active participation, which is why I much prefer to refer to such individuals as “participants,” “actors,” or just “the public.” So, in this sense, my pieces are physically stimulating, as well as visually, facilitating motion and movement throughout the carefully crafted space.

Several of the pieces that I have previously constructed have dealt with a physical notion of passage and happenstance. This “situation” that I have created for the library is more about destination. The library itself is a destination. You rarely just happen upon a library. Going to the library is a deliberate action, so for this piece I have endeavored to create a space that requires a similar activity. I anticipate that, perhaps initially out of curiosity, the public will make a decided choice to enter the installation, the “Situation Destination.” I like the idea that, if people respond positively upon their first encounter, this piece could also function as a destination to which to return. I see it acting as a haven of sorts. A place for folks to come and read, for children of all ages to come and hide out, a quiet escape, if only for a moment, from the commonplace.

Situation Orientation

Added on by Jourdan.
What an incredible opportunity... to actually get to make this... I think I've probably said that way too many times... but I really mean it. Its so exciting for me to see something like this come to life... especially after all the planning and troubleshooting that goes into it!
Back in February I walked into the Halsey with a notepad, a measuring tape, and a mission... and walked out with a vision. I know it sounds cheesy, but that's truly how it works. I was drawn to this specific space in the gallery and saw this cave-like form. I knew it belonged there. I knew what I was going to make.

Though I knew almost immediately what form this piece would take, the covering material was something to which I was never fully committed. I had various plans... animal intestines being one of them. But not until (at the very last minute) I started experimenting with a roll of cling wrap, at the off-handed suggestion of an on-looking professor did I know exactly how the piece would be finished, and what it all really meant to me.

As I've said before, I tend to start with forms and let the concepts cultivate from there. At first I had great concerns about the transparency of the material... but then I realized that the transparency is what this piece is all about. I've been working with these biomorphic forms (abstract forms that refer to or evoke living organisms), fabricating them in a manner that I believe to be evocative of 3D computer graphics (the sterile grid-like pattern). This form is soft and inviting, but its not at all place to hide, a place to reside (think hibernating bears). The City Paper said of walking through it... "the experience felt both intimate and exposed." Exactly! It's this idea of a false reality, a false sense of security... the transparency (and fragility), both literally and figuratively, of the fabricated "environment." Have I lost you yet?

April 2010
armature made of mig-welded 1/8 inch steel rod
covered with appx. 1200 ft of consumer plastic saran wrap
18' x 10' x 6.5'

Situation Orientation... a work in progress

Added on by Jourdan.
When I proposed this installation, I submitted a complete scale model (images to come) with explicit instructions as to how the piece would be assembled in the gallery space. I built the armature in the CofC sculpture studio and cut it apart into three pieces so that it could fit through the gallery's 8' x 8' doorway... darn doorways, always complicating things! Upon submission, the armature was complete and cut apart... ready for install. Once in the space and reassembled I would then adhere the plastic covering on-site.

What you see here is the reassembled armature, in its space, ready to be wrapped!

After hours upon hours of wrapping... it's nearly complete!

Situation Ossification

Added on by Jourdan.
I typically start with a shape, a form. Something nearly completely visual. Somewhere along the way the concept hits me... it's like "Ooooohhh, so that's what this piece is all about!" This time around it didn't hit me... I had to go hunt for it, chase after it, wrestle with it. Luckily I pinned it down just in time to get a title to Karen at Redux.

I'll try to spare you the long-winded attempt at an explanation....

os·si·fi·ca·tion (ŏs'ə-fĭ-kā'shən) n.
1. the natural process of bone formation
2. the process of becoming set in a rigidly conventional pattern, as of behavior, habits, or beliefs
3. rigid, unimaginative convention

To me, this piece deals with the issue of growing up. I'm not wanting to make a statement on the issue as much as I am an observation. So, the form is of a fluid nature. It's nothing in particular... but after seeing it up in the space, I liken it to several things often associated with childhood... tears, drool, a runny nose, you get the idea. Yet this substance (whatever it is) has been frozen. The steel armature gives it a certain stiffness, a rigidity, a pattern. It's been hardened... it's been ossified.

January 2010

steel, polypropylene landscaping fabric, light

CLICK HERE for many more photos of the exhibition and the opening

coming sooner... (!!!)

Added on by Jourdan.
Last Friday was the big move... and it proved to be much easier than anticipated, thanks to all my great helpers. I had nightmares of it bending, ripping, getting caught in tree branches... but luckily not a thing went wrong! We met at 10AM in the sculpture studio on campus, picked the thing up, and walked it down St. Phillips Street several blocks to Redux. It felt like a parade or something... but without the crowds and goofy music.

in the studio... ready for the big move

on the move.... see our reflection?

We made it to Redux!!
(Pictured with Karen Meyers, Executive Director of Redux...)

And just shortly after 12PM, the piece was up and hanging in place above our heads. Kind of freaky how things just seem to work out sometimes...

Just one more week until opening night! Maybe I'll see you there....?

Situation Manipulation Maquette

Added on by Jourdan.
I've recently stumbled into to fun world of maquette making. More and more I've been finding myself stuck, picture in head, pencil in hand, and absolutely no clue where to begin. I have had the hardest time visualizing, in 2 dimensions, such fluid 3-dimensional things. So I've been left with no other choice than to construct. Using simple brazing techniques (learned in sculpture 1) I'm able to create a mini 3-D version of just about anything. It's great, really... to make a small thing... that I know, one day, will be real... not to mention real big! Here's the maquette for my recent piece, Situation Manipulation.

September 2009


made of brazed steel bailing wire, and newspaper
appx. 7" tall, 20" long, and 15" deep
scaled at 1" = 1'

Situation Manipulation

Added on by Jourdan.
My most recent piece. Aiming to get out of my comfort zone, this is what I came up with. It's another tunnel of sorts. Walk through it, bend with it (if you're tall enough, that is). I designed it for this space, the CofC student gallery, which is where it's living for the time being. There's a chance it may get to make appearances elsewhere... keep your fingers crossed! I'm looking forward to using this technique more and more in the very near future.

October 2009






armature made from roughly 280 ft. of arc welded 3/4 in. rebar
covering made from roughly 120 sq. yd. of landscaping fabric (procured from the theater department) hardened with 4 1/2 gallons of polyurethane.