Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Visit to Somewhere

This past weekend I went to Atlanta to visit an L.A. based cousin who happens to be staying there this summer. It was amazing to see Joan and her husband and catch up on all the family happenings. One of the first things we did (after having lunch) was visit a wonderful craft gallery called Signature, and it formed the tone for the rest of my stay. There I discovered a wonderful sculptor named Kirsten Stingle whose figurative work is at once thought provoking and whimsical, vaguely disturbing (depending on your point of view) and engaging. Kirsten uses mixed media objects to bring her beautiful sculptures to life, including an antique riveting machine that she found at the Nashville "American Picker's" Antique Archeology store, a bottle washing rack, vintage millinery feathers, Ostrich eggs, and other interesting rusty bits and bobs. Right up my trash collecting alley!

When I got back to the hotel, I started stalking her online (better watch out what you post!), going to her website, then to her blog where I learned that she was preparing for her first museum show, then to a link to the gallery I had just visited that featured the work that would be included in the show - complete with a buy it now button. So I did! Buy something that is. The piece is in the show, so I won't actually receive it until after December 15 when the show closes. Ahh... sweet anticipation.

Character Block by Kirsten Stingle

Reading Kirsten's blog all the way back to the beginning (it's relatively new) was just as inspirational and thought provoking as her work is. Earlier posts were matter of fact observations of daily happenings, but soon she began to focus on this show and the preparation that was going in to it. She documents the building, finishing, decoration (glazing), and construction of each figure. The way Kirsten incorporates found objects into her character's narratives is so beautifully handled that a viewer/reader can't help but be struck by the thought and planning that she obviously puts into the design of her pieces right from conception. I'd love to look through a window into her brain - or even into her sketchbook, so I could observe each decision and choice. (Does that sound a little scary? I told you I was a stalker.) 

Kirsten is sharing the museum show spotlight with an encaustic artist named Lorraine Glessner whose work is equally engaging. If you're in the Atlanta area I encourage you to take a trip to see their work in person. I wish I could.

Reading Kirsten's blog has also reinvigorated my own creative proclivities. Although I'm not necessarily preparing for anything - no shows or sales in my near future, the urge to create (other than teaching samples) has been re awakened, and I'm itching to get into the studio.  


Vicki said...

Lora, what a great review. This gallery, unfortunately, was not there when I lived in Atlanta. Might have to jump on a plane.

Lora Hart said...

Great excuse to take a trip Vickie. Especially if you can visit the exhibit too and/or take a class from Kirsten. didn't know you lived there! Definitely a high light of Atlanta. Couldn't find any other galleries nearly as impressive.

Kirsten Stingle said...

Thank you so much for your kind words Lora and your purchase. I really appreciate that you took the time to learn what my work was all about! Stalk away! :-)

Lora Hart said...

Oh, I will. :)

Signature said...

Lora, Here is an even bigger thank you than the one for buying Kirsten's FIRST piece from her FIRST museum show. Appreciate the plug for Signature and for spreading the word about Kirsten Stingle and her excellent work. She is some one to keep your eye on.

Anonymous said...

OMG I LOVE the sculpture! Can't wait to see it in real life!!! - Pat