March 30th; Claire Watkins
The weekend of March 30th I went on Group 2’s trip to the city because I was sick during one of my trips. It turns out the strep throat was worth it for several reasons- the first being the amazing Claire Watkins.
The temporal intricacies of Claire’s sculptures both impressed and inspired me. I found them visually compelling and thought provoking. The dendrites and tendril shaped figures brought to mind the concept of memory and both the delicacy and resilient mystery that is the human body. The connection her works make to the electricity that animates our every waking moment as human beings reminded me of ‘energy medicine’- a new age type of “healing” that I have been studying for the past few months that employs the use of simple massage techniques on acupressure points to remove blockages of energy in the body. I enjoyed all of her pieces for different reasons but for all of them I especially enjoyed the delicate way the light hit the pieces forming shadows on the wall. Someone raised the pertinent question of lighting in other galleries and spaces. If the lighting was too bright or didn’t hit the pieces the right way, getting rid of the shadows, the pieces would be completely changed.
Although I hate spiders, I think my favorite piece by Claire were the spider-like creations made from feathers that gently “crawled” up and down the wall. They were delightfully creepy.
I especially appreciated the delicacy of her work because of the loudness of my own work. I use bright color pallettes and in your face imagery and get impatient with things that I find ‘tedious.’ Her patience was inspiring.
Before visiting Claire Watkins’ studio, I was delighted that we got to pause for a break under the Brooklyn bridge. New York City has so many different facets and viewpoints- each one inspiring me in it’s own way.
After the visit, I ventured around the city for a while to explore and take pictures- finally remembered to bring my camera with working batteries for the first time. I intended to upload some of my favorite photos from my adventure but unfortunately I brought my memory card home (two hours away home- not Amherst) and left it there.
In the evening, Kailie and I (along with her friends) ventured back into Brooklyn for the Boombox concert at Brooklyn Bowl. This was my first time in Brooklyn and I was thoroughly impressed with the scene and the people. The show venue was nice with custom brewed beers and a crowd full of friendly people. The concert itself was amazing. The music, the lights, the crowd- yet again I felt an urgent yearning to paint amidst the rhythmic beats and colorful lights bouncing around me. I have since gotten in contact with some people that do live painting at concerts to get advice on the logistics of it and on how to not make a huge mess.
The show fit in with the visit with Claire in a strange way. Her art is focused on the electric life force that animates the human body and the way in which these wired connections manipulate our sense of time memory and place. I felt as if the DJs were part of my electric life force, filling me with a profound energy. My body, my rhythm, and my thought process were at the whim of Boombox in all their wacky glory (purple boas, leopard hats). I especially appreciated that in addition to being DJs/producers they were playing guitar/bass/keyboard live. The new hype surrounding electronic music has given credibility to a lot of artists who don’t necessarily have a lot of talent. This band was my favorite type of electronic because it was still very much rock and roll.
The following day I continued my picture taking adventures, letting my mind be open to the inspirations all around me. On my subway back to Chelsea, I encountered a musician with such a powerful voice and captivating presence that I nearly missed my train. Luckily, I had a dollar on me (I never ever carry cash) to give to her. I video taped some of her performances and will update this entry when I get my memory card back.