OVER THE TOP and UNDER THE SURFACE
The language of my tin constructions uses an alphabet of adopted /adapted components that were designed for other uses. The soldering process comes from the stained glass world. Armature materials from the building industry. The tin itself contributes cultural iconography from the cooky-sharing, tea-packaging grocery and thrift store cultures.
After I’m done with them, cookie tins no longer resemble cookie tins. Sona tubes/ plaster/ spray-foam insulation are no longer hardware store inventory. Cloth is no longer cloth. It all speaks now of forest/village/global communities and environments, with a highly detailed colourful imprecision.
I make use of the world’s materials and the world’s innuendos. But these are my own sculptural constructions. My processes, my little jokes and commentary. With the hot solder, an aroma of cinnamon or lavender rises up, from the previous occupants of the tins. So, as with any mixed media sculpture, the almost-scent of the found object flavours the piece. Reminiscent of how we are all always inescapably shuffling through the magical detritus of this complex world.
In the mornings I sit in my Thinking Spot in the woods. Owls and wrens fly through. I write. I sketch out probable and improbable art. Sometimes the big cedars and firs bend way down to talk to me face to face.
I don’t waste indoor space on anything that is not art-related. My house is all studio. Part of me stands guard at the door, noticing what is trying to get in. The helpful thoughts are welcomed. The unhelpful thoughts are examined for a possible useful/useable bit of truth; the rest is laughed away, or set aside with a kind word.
A weed is defined as a flower out of place. The way music in the wrong place is noise. This is how work is play. And this is what i like about the art life. Despite long hours, repetitive motion injuries, soul-sucking judgments from some parts of even the art world — the art life offers a freedom and an unimpeded track to the use of creative energy. So, as in the ideal world, in which flowers are not weeds and music is never noise, art-making is not work.
Kathy Ross on Vimeo.