three artist’s unique transformations of found objects
* Nan Fleming * Adam Mulcahy * Mark Brown
Dec. 2 - Dec. 19th
Reception: Thursday Dec. 19th, 4pm - 6pm
(with informal gallery Q & A, plus a cash & carry event)
Gallery hours: Mon. - Thurs. 10AM - 5PM During regular school sessions
I discovered metal as an art form while at UMASS in 1992. Always a hoarder of the discarded and used, I was drawn to the shapes and patinas of the old rusty bits and pieces more than the clean shiny sheets of new metal available in the foundry. Manipulating a shape with heat continues to be pure magic for me.
For Found I have brought together some older pieces and more recent ones to explore how my use of materials have shifted. Paper has slowly become an important element in my work and learning to weave and incorporate wire has become increasingly interesting to me.
For this show I focused on work that included pieces found in the local area. As a lifelong Holyoke resident and history fanatic I am fascinated by the immediate area surrounding the HCC campus. My art has always showcased that love of all things old and forgotten. Walking in the woods on a hunt for art supplies is a new adventure every time. As a student here I would spend time between classes walking the abandoned trolley tracks. Several pieces in this show came from the ruins of an 1800's cider mill located nearby. Other sculptures include parts found in fields that have long since returned to forest. Some of my shadowbox assemblages contain parts from Mountain Park, a place I went as a child. Other works include my photography of abandoned buildings in the area. I am fascinated by the histories of the individual parts and how they fit together. The parts often lead me to the final direction that the art takes. Sometimes I feel as though I am merely along for the ride as the pieces dictate where they want to be.
My current work derives inspiration from the work of 20th century master Paul Klee and from traditional ethnographic artwork, especially African masks. These collaged pieces are limited in their color palate. I allow the character of the objects to dominate the surfaces and the integration of disparate materials is subtle and effective. Quirky and humorous, the characters display an inventive use of form and structure as well as a playful take on conventional portraits.