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2017
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Bainbridge Museum of Art Installation is UP
5/4/2017

About "Cultural Transformation Redux"  by Zia Gipson
The paper dolls in "Cultural Transformation" were born in an installation at the Schack Art Center in 2011. They are one of a number of artworks I've made that looks at loss as part of the human experience.  This paper doll installation comments on the way certain types of cultural knowledge is passed on generation to generation. In making this piece I'm noting that after the Internet much of what we learn to make or do we learn from watching an on-line video rather than from another person.
When I was growing up if I needed to know how to make something I would ask my mother, a life-long elementary school teacher, with not a small amount of artist in her. She would sit by my side showing me how to hold the paper and scissors or paintbrush and demonstrate, sometimes taking my hands in hers. As when she read to me at bedtime, I had her full attention, something rare in American homes in these days.
Today, young people learn everything online from coding to crochet and often they take up teaching producing videos at a very young age. While I applaud this entrepreneurial spirit, I think something incalculable has been lost when subjects are no longer taught person to person. While I have no scientific evidence to back up my hypothesis, I believe that personally transmitted information is retained longer in our memories tied as it is to a rich sensory learning experience.
 

Political Two
3/19/2017


You have to have fun. Making paper dolls is part ofmy efforts to reprise an installation I started a few years back. The installation is composed of strings of paper dolls coated with encaustic medium. The work is a commentary on the fact that some of us lucky ones learned things from our mothers...things like making paper dolls and now it's more common to learn these kinds of things on YouTube.

Political
3/19/2017

Increasingly, I'm not interested in making art that isn't somehow connected to the issues I care about. Much of my work swirls around what we are losing...environmentally, culturally, artistically...not that we aren't gaining new memes and recirculating ideas that gain new traction with each passing day. But like many others, I feel the losses keenly. I'll miss the clear vista from my house when it fills up with other people coming to live in this beautiful place. I'll miss my mother who set me up with scissors and paper at a young age and launched my life with heb blessings of energy and love and passion for making things. I miss the animals I haven't met but  I know are put down because their owners have forsaken them and because they are not lucky enough to be adopted into a first world home.  You could call me an optimist with a big sigh...struggling to get up and find meaning every day and yet so grateful. I used to have a card on my office bulletin board that said, " Happiness is a form of gratitude". I'm trying to live this, some days more fruitfully than others.

Gratitude
3/4/2017

 I am deeply indebted to Jiyoung Chung and to Aimee Lee, exemplar Korean artists living and working in the United States. Through your teaching and friendship, you've given me joomchi and so much more. I took a short class with Jiyoung one February when she was visiting Whidbey Island and later the same year had a class at the book arts festival in Pacific Grove, OR with Aimee.

Later, I studied more extensively with Jiyoung during a class at the Pacific NW Arts School on Whidbey Island. I've stayed in touch with both of these remarkable, accomplished women and wish them continued success with the teaching, writing, and exhibition programs. I recommend them both to anyone, wanting to explore the wonderful world of handmade Korean paper.

How To Hang
3/3/2017

I'm a big fan of small powerful magnets. That's how I hang most of my  paper pieces. The artwork comes with very small powerful magnets. All you have to do is put some kind of magnetic screw/tack or other metal device in the wall, and put the artwork against it. Then the magnet on top.

Since the felted paper pieces are light weight you can usually safely hang these with only one or two magnets.

I provide magnets and wall bracket with purchase.

Of course, these pieces look beautiful under frames but that's up to you ;-).



 

Care and Feeding of Artwork
3/3/2017

Most of the paper felted pieces I have created are designed to hang unframed. First, the framing is expensive and second, it obscures the pleasures of the surface texture. In any case, these can get dusty,
What to do?
Take out that feather duster and gently dust. Of, if you prefer, put the foot of a nylon stocking over the end of a vacuum cleaner and gently vacuum. The dust will accumulate on end of the vacuum.
You can certainly touch these pieces...the texture is part of the charm, but be thoughtful...the more you manipulate a felted paper artwork the softer the material becomes and it may lose it's cast.
Questions? Just ask.

The pictured object is called " Castaway". It's 18" v x 12" v made of a variety of paper with a base of mulberry.

Purchasing
3/3/2017

Sometimes people ask me, why don't you put prices on your website? The answer is that some of the artwork featured is for sale and some isn't and I'm too short on time to go into the website and hunt up each piece when there's a change of status. It's easier for me to simply say, "ask me".
 
Most of the felted paper pieces are priced between $750 and $1000 and do not include sales tax if you live in WA State. I can certainly ship or deliver work to you and depending on the circumstances you may pay for shipping or I will. If you live in the region I might be able to deliver and install the piece for you at no cost.

For example, the piece above, is called "Evidence of Purpose". One my favorites pieces with lots of drawing and stitchery involved. It's $850 retail. Which means that typically you would pay a gallery or museum that price and I will get half. If I sell it to you directly, the price is the same for obvious reasons.

"Evidence of Purpose" is 32" v x 19.5 h. Completed in 2015 or 2016...sometimes a piece doesn't get completed finished until a year later.

Narrative
3/3/2017

In the last year or so I have been working with more overtly narrative pieces. In the piece on this page, I have "Extinction is Forever", currently being shown at the Schack Art Center in Everett, WA. The process of paper felting lends itself well to conveying the idea of decay or loss.
I started the piece by writing the word in an app on my IPad, then exported the file to a website where the design could be tiled so I could print it out in pieces, cut, and reassemble. Then the template was  traced on mulberry paper, my material of choice. 
The piece is large. The first word on the left is 50' x 40". Each of the additional words is somewhat smaller and more crumpled in appearance, again the result of carrying on the paper felting process for a longer period of time.
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