Why We Frame

My studio is surrounded not only by farms, but also seven wonderful universities and colleges. A blend of art history and studio art UMass students came to visit the studio today. I tell you this, because opening up your studio and allowing twenty pairs of eyes see your artistic process sheds some wonderful insights on your own work that you never would have thought about. 

 

 Two unrelated events. On the left,  10/17/90 , and on the right,  9:52 am 4/29/09

Two unrelated events. On the left, 10/17/90, and on the right, 9:52 am 4/29/09

Above are two framed works I had never associated together before. In talking about the piece on the right, I explained the process of being present for a birth of a goat. I had paper ready to catch the 'kid' bring it to paper, birthing fluids and all, make a print of an event, then hand the kid back to its eager mom. There is even hay still stuck to it. I like it, not for its aesthetic qualities, but for the concept of printing a goat using its own birthing fluids, catching a moment in time; a birth print of sorts, like a tiny foot print that hospitals do. So I framed it to remind myself of the importance of my first attempt at capturing an ephemeral moment.  It is titled 9:52 am 4/29/09.

At the end of the studio talk a student asked if I could tell her about a framed piece of work that was tucked on a shelf across the room; barely visible, you really had to be searching for it. We brought out the piece you see on the left titled 10/17/90. It is a list of contraction times and phone number of the doctor written on a piece of paper by my scientific husband, on the day our daughter was born. A moment in time so important, so life changing, I framed it. These two documentations, one scientific and ordered; and another, artistic, conceptual and messy, is such a blend of my husband and myself,  that when brought together like you see here, the diptych could be called (off the top of my head), His and Hers.  

Two ephemeral birthing moments, one animal and one human, were brought together by a new pair of eyes in the studio. It is always delightful taking out old work to see in a new light after years of an artistic practice.

 

 Detail of contraction log Andrew Milliken wrote on the day our Daughter was born. Water stain smudging out his work at the top, probably from an ice chip!

Detail of contraction log Andrew Milliken wrote on the day our Daughter was born. Water stain smudging out his work at the top, probably from an ice chip!