The concept of displaying work in a white room reflects the idea that we can clear our minds of all the clutter and chaos of the world. Any object in the “white cube” then becomes re-contextualized to a clear mental space. It becomes an isolated definition of itself. We mentally connect anything in this space to our own reality through personal paradigms and associations. Scientifically, we analyze our bodies in a similar manner. Each system and organ of the body is isolated in order to understand its function. Examples of these are: skeletal, nervous, muscular, heart, brain, and the skin - the barrier or metaphorical vessel. We come to understand the components of the body through separation yet they depend on each other as a whole to function. This is one approach of analyzation that is used in an attempt to define the boundaries of our physical and mental selves.
As an artist, I explore boundaries through references to skin and walls. Skin is the permeable barrier between self and the empirical world. It references a personal and universal identity. In a similar manner, references to walls represent the common construct that creates a barrier between us and the natural world. I understand our constructed world as having the ability to represent comfort, as in a home, as well as confinement such as in an office cubicle. In the same way, our physical being is our identity yet it is also our only real point of view. These ideas are represented in my work as a metaphorical equation between self, constructed environment, and nature.
I am constantly observing the relationships between our constructed environment and nature. This can be seen in the way that vegetation grows in between joints of the sidewalk, mold and mildew grow in between ceramic tiles, and paint peels off the face of a brick. As these situations occur there is a new order that is revealed. It indicates a passage of time revealing either a structural strength or weakness. In my mind, it also presents a reflection of our own mortality, a metaphor of the way our bodies and minds deteriorate over time.
I am interested in the notion that the context of my perception is dependant on the culture in which I exist. One system of analyzing and organizing data that is prevalent in our society is the grid. It is a democratic way of breaking up air and matter into equal units that makes all space accountable. This is the basic logic of the operation of computer pixels and three dimensional imaging programs. I see it as presenting an elusive idea that subjects can be mapped and quantified. This form of logic is completely subjective in comparison to general laws of nature, such as gravity and time, which exist whether or not we acknowledge and define them for ourselves.
My growing desire to combine references to self, community, and nature stems from an understanding of a dependant relationship. Each individual is a part of a much larger system of energy. Everything is constantly changing qualities of energy. In scientific terms this idea is similar to a ToE (theory of everything). Changes in energy quality are the leading forces that create the world in which we live. We eat for physical energy and sleep for mental energy. Our current growing environmental crisis is about finding natural forms of energy. Storms and lightning are caused by the flow of atmospheric energy. The quality of energy changes as it moves from one entity to another but it is never created nor destroyed.
This idea that everything is composed of energy, leads to a system in which all things represent different qualities of the same thing. Mentally I find it difficult to understand the idea that things can be different and the same simultaneously. Diversity in appearance often conceals the underlying unity. My work represents a struggle to understand what is concrete in a world of impermanence. In our subjective reality, meaning constantly changes as context is altered. We separate perceived entities down into parts to understand them, yet as the parts are separated from the whole the context in which they are understood changes.
“We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.” – Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
MFA Candidate/ Ceramics, Tyler School of Art, Elkins Park, PA
BFA Crafts/ Ceramics, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
“In Limbo” Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA
“Transgressions” OSU, Columbus, Ohio
“Worlds Greatest Best,” Philadelphia, PA
“XXXXY” Tyler Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
“From One State To Another” FAB Gallery, Curated by Gregory Volk, Richmond, VA
“Latino Art Exhibit” School District Administration Building, Philadelphia, PA
“Elaine Quave: Photography and Sculpture” (solo-show) Lipscomb Gallery, SCGSAH, Greenville, SC
2nd Annual South Plaza Sculpture Exhibit, Curated by Wim Roef, Dillon, SC
“What’s you Body Image?” Lee Gallery, Celmson University, SC
Upstate Ceramics Exhibition, Warehouse Theater, Greenville, SC
Faculty Show, Lipscomb Gallery, SCGSAH, Greenville, SC
Faculty and Staff Show, Pilchuck Glass School, Seattle, WA
“Makeup” (solo-show) Clemson University MFA Gallery, SC
”New Voices” Medialia Rack and Hamper Gallery, New York, NY
"Forward” (curator) Lipscomb Gallery, SCGSAH, Greenville, SC
“New Work in Medallic Sculpture” Traveling Exhibition, Philadelphia, Portugal, Brazil, Organized by New Approach, Inc. NY, (traveling through 2007)
“Directions” Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
“It's a Good Thing: A Banquet” University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
“Banquet of Light and Shadow” University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
“Simile,” Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
“Banquet of the Seven Deadly Sins” University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Graduate Assistantship, (Tyler School of Art)
Terminal Masters Project Completion Grant (Temple University)
Future Faculty Fellowship (Temple University Graduate Fellowship)
Work-Study Scholarship, Penland School of Craft (summer session)
Florence Whistler Fish Award for Student Excellence
(all school award for the College of Art and Design)
Marcus A. Renzetti (given to one junior in the Crafts department)
Virginia Kimmel Award (scholarship given to one junior in each media of Crafts department)
Nomination for Alexander Award (all school award for the College of Art and Design)