Sage Advice: “Follow the Work”

Jackie Winsor Rope.jpg

Jackie Winsor Rope 1967

Today is the day I settled (sort of) on a design (sort of) for my installation at the Method Gallery.  But I got distracted, by trying to sort out my impulse for using twine. Twine is what I used for my BFA exhibit in the spring of 2007. 

Several years ago I stumbled onto to a Smithsonian archived interview with Jackie Winsor, a Canadian-American sculptor whose choice of material in the early 1970s hemp rope and wood . She responded to the austere, non-tactile sculpture associated with minimalism by putting flesh on the bones of her spare, gridded forms.  Her advice to aspiring artists had a profound impact on my artistic development:  “Just follow the work … follow the work.”

She didn’t say anything about circling around.  But circling around is what I seem to be doing. Twine?  Maybe it’s just a detour, a temporary diversion, not sure. But my fingers are indeed itching for the feel of natural fibers again.

Bottom line: it’s also cheap, and low-cost material makes large-scale installations affordable.  In this way, it also speaks to the dialetic of high versus low art—which pleases me.