JUST BELOW THE SKIN A RIVER FLOWSA new installation by Brad Ford Smith at the Mighty Fine Arts Project Room.
February 21 – March 22, 2009
Reception 6-9 pm, February 21
This new project is basically a layman’s representation of the epidermis stratum (human skin). It is constructed using a stack of old watercolor paper, a pair of scissors, a hole puncher, a color copier, some nails, a bit of string, and a 9 foot long wall.
The project began when Veronica Tosten asked me to do an installation at Mighty Fine Arts. Instantly an image of a multi layered splattering popped into my head. Usually this sort of spontaneous imaging is just a reactionary response to a new project or material. Usually I enjoy the sensation and then dismiss the image as being a flashy, thin one-liner. But this time I wanted to explore what subconscious response created this image. What internal links were connected when this opportunity presented itself?
This project also had the unique bonus in that I had three months to play with it before the installation date. This gave me and the image time to ferment, to spend equal amounts of time at the drafting table and in the backyard daydreaming. The image grew organically as it sifted through daily input…
finding a stack of my father’s watercolor paper… sorting through the estate of an old dear friend… watching another friend cope with her second risky pregnancy… visualizing good health… discovering all my scissors dull and rusted… organizing 1000 Asian auction catalogs… flocks of grackles in the backyard, swarming of bees… body armor… fishing line… sanded wood… art lectures… art fairs… art blogging… coping with public dyslexia once again…
The result is a wall installation that is a hybrid of influences and experiences, a free association construct, a kind of diary portrayed in a low-tech, obsessive format.
It’s the continuous struggle that we all make just to keep inside of our own skin.Mighty Fine Arts