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Amanda Degener

US . Minnesota . Minneapolis . www.cavepaper.com

 

Statement

I made most of the Asian-style papers in Seed, Spirit, Plant, Earth, Seed Again specifically for the sculpture but many I collaged together from the seemingly endless stash of translucent papers I have made over the years. I wanted the work to seem even taller than I was able to make it, so the squares at the top are 5x10 inches (13x25 centimeters) and the sizes get larger until the ones at the bottom are 4x4 feet (122x122 centimeters). From outside the work there is a kind of forced perspective, like you would feel if you were under a tall skyscraper. When designing the work I was concerned that the glue holding the top squares would not be able to hold the weight of this now singular sheet of cascading paper. The solution was to make an armature using the idea of a fishing net. I employed a strong, linen bookbinding thread which was glued continuously both vertically and horizontally throughout the paper. This paper, with its net-like armature, is attached at the top to a wood hoop, which is cabled to the ceiling. The entire work weighs about 30 pounds.

I designed Seed, Spirit, Plant, Earth, Seed Again in a quilt-like fashion. I used repeating images for the seed, plant, and earth squares; but made the spirit squares unique. As one circles the work, the squares are always in the same order as the title: Seed (with embedded seeds), Spirit (unique collages), Plant (cooked, but unbeaten, dyed green kozo embedded in a kozo base sheet), Earth (cutout circles from indigo-dyed paper backed with gampi), and back to Seed again. I feel that translucency, pattern, and decoration were the right elements to convey Earth’s celebration of regeneration. When walking in the doorway of this large-scale sculpture (see detail and interior views) the quality of the light and the upward dynamic strive to create a meditative sensation. The interior view is similar to how I feel on a good day of meditation. As the outside is Earth’s regeneration, the inside could be said to be man's.

View from my Window in Taiwan was made on site during an international paper symposium called "Play Paper Factory" organized by Chang Chuen Paper Foundation. In View From my Window in Taiwan the large central sphere is more like a "life force" than a sun. The suspended wire and cast paper spheres can be interpreted as three moons, or as a single moon in three different phases. Splashes of white and dark purple fiber where combined giving the illusion of clouds passing by the moon. Viewers felt inclined to draw in the sand, move one of the moons, or look inside them. The moon influences both a person's body (we are 80% water) and the ocean tides. This installation suggests that man is part of the universe and is invited to be a component of our environment. The work is only complete when a viewer/participant interacts with it. Viewers could go up to the sparkling, black sand and touch these stars so they felt as if they were part of this universe. My work endeavors to incorporate architecture and nature. My interest in a harmony between structures man has made and the natural world has expanded into man's relationship with the universe. The calligraphy behind the sculpture is the artwork of Jui-Kung Chen.

CV

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