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Topic: copper tubing + wire + hammer = ribcage!  (Read 4141 times)
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« on: August 16, 2008 08:37:30 AM »


I created an installation in a gallery space and now one of the pieces lives in my garden.  I made a ribcage - originally it was made so you could wear it on the outside (armholes) haha.   I hammered tons of copper tubing, flattened it and shaped it around the leg of a heavy steel chair (my landlords who lived in the same place LOVED me! Haha!) The spine acts as a really simple hinge, so you can crack it open.  There's a little clasp and lock kinda thing that keeps it closed where the sternum is located.  I built the ribs around the size of my dressform, so they're a little large for me... not that i would be going grocery shopping with this on or anything.

On to photos! 


(open)(it opens way wider than this... i can actually put it on!)


(the hinge)

(in the gallery)

(closeup of back)

I'm going to make another post with photos from the gallery show... I just wanted to focus on the ribcage for now

Hope you like it!


All I wish is that my side of the story may be told. Kintpuash of the Modoc tribe, 1873
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2008 08:43:48 AM »

Is this piece going to be outdoors?  I think the copper will take on a beautiful patina.  It really has beauty of its own, and there's some available thoughts lingering --- perhaps some will interpret the human form, medically speaking, some will look at the entrapped female form in corsets, bras, etc.  and others might advance thought into entrapment altogether, or perhaps emptiness, or potential???

I love it.  I'd love to see it in my garden
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2008 09:38:24 AM »

Oh wow, that's really really cool!

« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2008 09:56:50 AM »

This is such a beautiful piece! I'd love to see a photo of you wearing it Smiley

I really enjoyed reading Buttermilk's analysis. I think that themes of the external vs. the internal could also come up for someone looking at this - worn, it could be a symbol of intense honesty, laying one's bare structure, the "bones" of one's soul or mind, out in the open - an extreme act of bravery. It also reminds me of people who are suffering who have trouble with what are called "boundaries" - I had some friends who were going through some rough stuff who in conversation would kind of blurt out deep, heavy things to people they didn't know very well, not really being able to stop themselves. It was like there was no layer between their "bones" and the open air. There's a loneliness to the piece.

In another vein, I think of armor, but in a positive way  - using what's inside of you to strengthen yourself and protect yourself from the blows of the external world. In that sense its interpretation would be as very self-validating, somewhat bittersweet but also victorious, and very dignified.

Then there's the embracing of death and mortality and the acceptance of one's limitations . . . So many possibilities!

Can you tell I just took an art history course? lol Tongue *goes around interpreting everything*

In short, I love it! *rocks*
« Last Edit: August 16, 2008 09:58:14 AM by ethertree » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2008 10:16:12 AM »

ahhhhhhhh! this ROCKS!!!!!!

« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2008 10:19:56 AM »

Thanks!  These photos were taken a few months ago, and since then, I've had it in my garden Smiley with ivies growing around in adn through it. The copper is already starting to patina in spots - it feels really magical to watch it shift.  It's really interesting you mention the medical interpretation - I have always been fascinated with the spin that science and medicine puts on the human body.  I've had a number of medical issues over the years, and spent a fair amount of time in hospitals, etc. so it's a huge influence on the stuff I make.

The other huge influence in me making this piece, and the installation around it, was the life of my grandmother - she was born in 1926, in Ontario, in the midst of huge world changes.  She got married at 15 (!!!!) and had 5 children.  She was a homemaker for her entire adult life - and after the youngest child was born (my mom), she developed severe depression, which she was never really able to come back from.   She was very powerful in terms of earning money for the household.  She was extremely intelligent, and really knowledgeable about antiques (where she made a lot of money!)  I never got to find out exactly what she thought of the political and social revolutions she got to experience firsthand.

The concept of the entrapped female form, as well as potential - protection and yes, armour - definitely refers to my grandmother - both concepts are tied together in that she somehow felt trapped and limited, but at the same time, as I look back at her life, she was such an incredible person.

Buttermilk, Trocks & ethertree - thank  you so much for your valuable and insightful comments. Everyone has identified huge themes and concepts that I know motivated me in creating the piece.  *i've got a huge grin right now!!*
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2008 10:20:59 AM »

Ack i just saw you posted and i don't want ot leave you out! Thanks SunflowerSmiles!  Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2008 10:27:24 AM »

Wow!  what great inspiration!  I think we all should make things to honor those who worked so hard before us so we can have what we have today!  I know I have an incredible history and I would love to do something to honor them in some way.... your piece is very inspirational and just down right cool. Grin

« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2008 08:09:22 PM »

Wow, that's impressive! Did you use it for a fashion show? It's has a very wearable art feeling!
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2008 01:39:51 AM »

I absolutely love this, and the gallery view is amazing! Are you at all familiar with the artist Kiki Smith? While some of her pieces are not for everyone, I really do see a similarity in your sculpture and her early works. Truly stunning.

Proud member of the Eastern Wa Etsy Team!
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