March 10, 2010

Today's Feature: Watt & Shand #1

"Transformation: The Watt & Shand Series" opens on Friday, March 19th at the Lancaster Arts Hotel Gallery in Lancaster, PA, with a reception from 6 - 8. In celebration and anticipation I'm going to feature one of the nine pieces in the exhibit each day leading up to the opening. Today I'm showing Watt & Shand #1, which is based on photos taken in June, 2008. The view from the street of the construction project changed dramatically during the month as the elaborate scaffolding that had been holding up facade of the original building was dismantled. Workers with torches took out the welds, as cranes removed the beams of the scaffold.

Here's the original photo I worked from for the fabric print. I'm still crazy about it; the sparks flying, the angles of the beams and the worker's back and arm, and the contrast of the blue sky all add up to a fine example of being in the right place at the right time. You can also see here how printing onto fabric and adding stitching abstracts the image slightly and gives it dimensionality.
The color scheme for #1 was drawn from the grays and tans of the building, the orange of the banners hanging from the scaffold, and the peeks of blue sky still visible through the empty windows. I used a lot of home dec fabrics, which have a heavier texture and add some visual weight to the work; two colors of orange silk add contrast and shimmer.

Here's another of the photos I worked from. There's a lot going on here! The curves and carvings of the old building, the efficient angles of the new construction, and the hodge-podge of the scaffolding are all grounded, for me, by that glimpse of sky through the window. It's all so complex and transitory, and that's what grabbed me from the start.
If you are going to be in Lancaster in the coming weeks, there are lots of opportunities to see the work. The opening reception on "Third Friday", 3/19 is from 6-8; there's an additional reception on Thursday, 3/25 from 5-8, and one more on "First Friday", 4/2 from 5-8. I will be present at all three and would welcome the chance to meet and greet and talk about the work. The gallery is open to the public daily, and is also a popular spot for private gatherings and business meetings, so if you are making a special trip it's good to call ahead at 717-299-3000.
If you are new here, you can track back the series as a work in progress by clicking on "Watt & Shand" under Labels in the right sidebar. Thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned for more of the countdown.


Terry said...

I love this. The translation of the photo to fabric is great and the fabrics you put with them are wonderful--giving such a feel of structural confusion and action. Very neat series!

Kristin L said...

This is my favorite color scheme of all your Watt & Shand pieces. It's go just teh right proportions of each color. This might be my favorite work too, but I have a feeling I've said that about several already!

Sharon said...

Thanks for posting, Sue! I enjoy knowing about the background of this series and look forward to seeing and reading about the rest!