I have the opportunity to travel to Germany and visit the Vitra Campus, home of the Vitra Design Museum and VitraHaus near the tripoint of Switzerland, Germany and France. The campus is an architecture and design mecca in a very condensed space. Traveling to the Vitra Design Museum will provide an intimate and hands on experience for researching design patterns and materials, which will be the basis of a new series of work for a solo exhibition.
ABOUT MY WORK For the past several years, my work has centered on the environments we inhabit, the objects we surround ourselves with, and the constructed spaces through which we create a sense of self. This body of work asks viewers whether we define home as a place, a feeling, or the people or objects we surround ourselves with. It also explores the relationship between home as a physical space occupied with familiar objects and as a psychological space of mood or feeling. This interest gradually evolved from my experiences of having been displaced by frequent moves over the course of my life. It crystallized when I found myself living in a rural town, disconnected from more familiar home settings. The combination of these circumstances compelled me to explore how I had come to define the concept of "home." In this inquisitive state I was compelled to accumulate domestic furnishings, which I realized, created an illusory state of domestic contentment. By acquiring household goods, items, and furnishings I satisfied some of my longing for a home and secure social space. The items I sought after were all mid-century pieces purchased from second hand shops, estate sales, craigslist, and eBay. The history and simplicity of these mid-century, Eames era objects offered a nostalgic comfort through their patterning, form, and color. My actual work began when I started cataloging these objects through textual documentation and a simple drawn representation that reflected the mood they evoked for me. Eventually, I began to construct spaces with the actual objects I had been collecting along with their representations. These installations asked viewers to question the relation between the public space of the gallery and a private domestic sphere. My more recent work uses a variety of media to create architectural and material images that interrogate our senses of interior and exterior spaces. My interest in architecture and design has grown over the years and its references have been a starting point for a broader investigation of materials, processes and ideas. From a young age, I’ve identified with mid-century architectural renderings and advertisements and their utopian projections of home life. These controlled spaces offer a retreat into the world of domestic bliss, while forgoing the drama of emotions that occur in all important, primary human relationships. With a solo show on the horizon next year, my new series of work will continue to explore the overlapping of public and private space through installation, sculpture and drawing. I will revisit themes of pattern within domestic designs while also exploring the emotional parallel of patterns within relationship behaviors.
ABOUT THE VITRA DESIGN MUSEUM There are a variety of architects who have designed buildings on the grounds of the campus, including Tado Ando and Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Nicholas Grimshaw. The variety of architectural designs range from an industrial plant to a utopian village. The Museum Collection houses temporary exhibitions and holds several prominent estates, including those of Charles Eames, Verner Panton, and Alexander Girard, and maintains one of the largest collections of modern furniture design in the world. The Vitra archive and library holdings include technical drawings, freehand sketches and photographic material from various designers that I would like to research and utilize as departure points for my new work. The VitraHaus, designed by Herzog & De Meuron, is a combination of museum, design resource center, art gallery and furniture showroom. The primary purpose is to present furnishings and objects for the home, so it is appropriate that the architecture is on a ‘domestic scale’ and everything is displayed as though it were an actual residential setting. The complexity of the interior spaces in the VitraHaus, with its angular intersections and volumes of twelve stacked houses, is a wonderful play on constructed space.
WHAT THE MONEY IS FOR The money I raise will go toward the direct costs of travel and lodging for two weeks and any remaining $$ will go toward supplies for the actual production of the work. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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