This weekend I’m working on photos of my recent work including this piece called “Little Needs” that I made from an old fur coat, a stuffed animal, old jewelry, gold leaf, and beads. Other than the beads and thread, I didn’t buy any of it–it was all random stuff I found here and there.
People donate all kinds of interesting things to the nonprofit organization I work for. It’s great for the found object artist. I was looking through a donation the other day and opened a container to find a mass of twisted, used twist-ties. All together they looked really interesting and a little (should I admit it) repulsive. Now they’re destined for art.
This is the piece I’m working on right now. My dilemma is that I’m not sure I can exhibit it anywhere because it’s so fragile and it begs to be touched at the same time. The little copper wire in the center of this photo is a big part of the problem. The piece is a whirligig and you can blow on it to get it to rotate. I’d wanted the main whirligig to drive some other motion on the piece and after a lot of trial and error I got this little wire to successfully move a gilded electric mixer beater. The connection is tenuous, and if anyone prods it in the wrong way it will bend or break.
It’s a problem I run into on a lot of my art. I’ve got all kinds of stuff on the surface. It asks you to touch and explore. It’s playful. Approachable. Modeled on a toy but very much not something to play with. I want the viewer to interact with it, but not by touch.
I’m not sure what the solution will be.