We’re in production for the Aug/Sep issue this week, which means lots of time staring at computer screens. Luckily it’s my blogging day, which forced me to go outside and walk around to see what June 2 looks like. I floated little leaf boats, and tried to photograph the wind.
We went to Earth Bread + Brewery see Wendy Wolf’s art. I know Wendy from my Alfred University days, and I think she makes the coolest necklaces and Halloween costumes and artwork. Some pieces from her “Natural Repetition” series are on display at Earth Bread + Brewery until April 3. I’ve been trying to get to one of her art shows for months, and I was so excited that she wasn’t at her studio and could join us for dinner.
After we finished eating, Wendy walked me through the show. I wish wish wish I’d done a video interview of Wendy talking about her work. Since I think Wendy’s own words are far more interesting than my paraphrasing, I emailed her last night and got her artist’s statement about the show.
“The series Natural Repetition began during a residency at Taliesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture) in Scottsdale, Arizona. The residency gave me the opportunity to create an outdoor installation piece. While exploring the grounds, I found an orchid tree whose leaves looked very similar to the repeated marks I had been working with in my painting and cut paper series. I processed the leaves by tracing and reproducing them in paper as I had been doing with the marks in my paintings. As soon as that first strand of leaves was installed in the courtyard, it completely changed the way people interacted with the space. Instead of walking through with their heads bent down, they stopped and looked up—seeing this beautiful tree above them—and spent time exploring and making personal associations with my paper leaves. I was thrilled to watch hundreds of people walk through the space (on daily tours) with expressions of delight. That installation has since led to a whole series of work based on different locations and the natural repetition found in various types of plants.”
You can see pictures of the earlier outdoor installations here.
The current show features works made with turkey oak leaves, ginkgo leaves, basswood, bamboo, and these really lovely box elders.
Some of the leaf shapes in her work have insect and weather damage. Right after she told me about the art she made from her (master gardener) mother’s poor slug-damaged hostas, I asked, “Can I blog about you at work?” I love the hosta series. Yes, it’s true the slugs destroyed the plants, but Wendy said her mom finally has some of her art hanging over the sofa. Who ever knew that insect damage could be so beautiful? I love it!