Small Craft (makeshift): some new work and what’s happening

Standing next to things!

Standing next to things!

Well, remember when I posted This? That was clearly a lie. I tried, but I just can’t find the time to update as regularly as I would like. This is of course a catch-22 because the more I have to write about, the less time I have to write about it.

Anyway, I’m here to tell you that I have recently completed a new body of work entitled Small Craft (makeshift). This work consists of four rafts or vessels, constructed intuitively with little planning, based roughly on primitive watercraft. The work in the gallery is accompanied by a video featuring yours truly taking each of these on a maiden voyage on the open water. The work is currently on view at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art), at the Maine College of Art in Portland Maine, for the annual juried faculty exhibition entitled The World Over.

Here is a link to my website which has much of the work displayed already, but I’ll give you a general Idea here as well.

and here is a link to one recent writeup of the show from the Portland Phoenix.

And this is how I describe the body of work in the context of my own work and my new home in Maine…

Small Craft (makeshift)

This work represents my own interpretation and selective manipulation of an important aspect of Maine and greater New England’s history: boat building and maritime life. I’m interested in the contradictions between the real historical and current dependence on the sea as a place of labor, livelihoods, travel, and battle paired with the contemporary perception of this history.

Having been brought up around this culture, specifically that of boat building as well as a healthy dose of coastal tourism, I have always had an interest in this intersection between the realities of life in a place, and the outside interpretation of that life.

Boats in particular are a symbol unique to our region and represent a broad spectrum of histories and functions. My own interest in these forms is to explore the boat stripped of the fetishistic treatment that it so often gets in the world of recreational and personal watercraft.

These crafts are constructed from a hodgepodge of materials and processes: from found objects to high-density insulation foam; from hand built to cnc fabrication. These makeshift experimental vessels are a personal exploration and subversion of a form with a long rich history and relatively set system of design and construction.

These objects are supplemented with a projected video documenting their maiden voyage. As both maker and test pilot, this becomes an exercise in documenting their functionality as much as a performance of solitary exploration of a vast landscape.

In presenting this work, I want to explore a series of questions surrounding regional histories, an understanding of the relationships between form, function, and process, notions of exploration and transportation, and much more. “

And here is the accompanying video

Finally, here are some shots of the work in the gallery as well as in action or waiting to go into action

Thanks for looking. Now look at this… The first stage of me constructing Small Craft #3 during a week long residency at the Stephen Pace House in Stonington Maine.

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