Monday, March 1, 2010

Stages of a station, the Art of Art part 1

Several months ago I was asked to participate in an art exhibit of the Stations of the Cross/Fotofest for Xnihilo Gallery. The station I was given to create a piece of art depicting or interpreting was Station 4, Jesus Meets His Mother. In a moment that can only be explained as a complete departure from reality as I'm not an artist and certainly not a photographer, I said yes. What in the world was I thinking? It must have been the pregnancy, certainly in my non-gestational state of mind I would never have said yes.

I spent a good amount of time dreaming up my piece before reality caught up with me and by the time I realized that this wasn't such a good idea it was too late for me to back out. So with a concept in mind Jeremy and I worked out how the piece could work. Though photography was required for the show it didn't have to be the only medium.

My pregnancy carried quite the influence on me as I thought the piece and eventually became the canvas we would use to build the rest of the work on. On Christmas Eve, 3 days before I went into labor at almost 37 weeks, Jeremy and I made a cast of my torso. We had hoped to make 2 or 3 of these but it turns out we did well to get the one.

The process was simple, Vaseline all over the area we would be making a cast of, a large roll of plaster cloth, a container of warm water, a vinyl table cloth for the floor and towels. It didn't take as long as we expected and, true to the directions on the plaster cloth, it dried very fast. Watching the original Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, we got to work. Me sitting naked in the living room while Jeremy smoothed slimy, wet pieces of the plaster cloth on my torso might sound exciting but it really wasn't as sexy as one might think.

The strips were drying so quickly, Jeremy had to work fast. I snapped as many pictures as I could while trying to remain still. As you can see the pics didn't turn out so well!

In order to make my belly look a little bigger and to be sure the plaster didn't end up all over my dinning room chair, I leaned back in the chair with just my rear and the top of my back touching the chair making for an uncomfortable and long 30 minutes while we waited for the plaster to set so it wouldn't crush when we removed the cast.

I'll be posting more photos of the progress of the piece over this next week. The belly cast was a great experience and I love it, very glad we made one, it turned out beautifully.

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