Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Bug's Life

While looking for something else, I stumbled across the website of
Jennifer Angus, who is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, in the school of Environment, Textiles, and Design. (Yes, that was my first degree... except it might have been called something else back in the day)

She does these amazing installations that are made of real (though thoroughly dead) insects, mounted on walls and placed in precise patterns. Beautiful, repellent and fascinating at the same time, somehow; a marvel from across a room or inches away...

These last three photos are from an installation at the
North Dakota Museum of Art.

There is a video that shows some of the process of doing an installation on her website, and also some educational games for kids.

She says that the insects are reused for installations until they cannot be repaired anymore, but I can't imagine that we will ever run out. Of bugs, that is. Insects will be the last living creatures on earth. I missed the Chazen exhibit last year in Madison ... it would have been great to see in person; I have a well-known and cataloged fear of insects coupled with a kind of morbid obsession.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Breaking Dawn Masquerade Ball

Barnes and Noble announced a masquerade ball for the book release party of Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn, and we decided to make masks for the event. M. and friends gathered on a Friday night and decorated paper-mache covered plastic masks with paint, fabric trim, feathers, sequins, jewels, etc. We made a fine mess.

I decided to make one at the last minute. You never know when you might be invited to a ball.

At the ball, there were many fans who were dressed in prom/homecoming type dresses or vampire black and fancy and not so fancy masks. I don't think I've ever been to a midnight release party, but it was kind of fun. I pulled up a footstool and browsed through several art/collage books after admiring all the finery. We chose not to dress up, but did carry the masks with us.

This young couple, who had made their masks that day, using plaster strips to form them, allowed me to take a picture of them. They and we were at the very front of the line, along with others who had submitted art (M.s friend!) or had been to all three of the release parties.

At one minute to midnight, the wrappings were torn off the cases of books waiting behind the counter. By 12:05 we were out the door and on the way home...
M. finished the book before she went to bed tonight. I still have two more to go before I can read it.