This is a collaboration which began right when the pandemic hit our region. The initial concept of our work revolved around aerial photographs of geologic changes due to global warming, such as ice sheets melting and salt lakes drying up. We both share an infinity for the fractal patterns of the natural world, from the microscopic to macroscopic scale, and knew that our aesthetic interests would mesh well. We initially started the process by creating laser-etched pieces to represent the geography, which were inked and printed onto paper. The work shifted vision, to the virus, represented in polymer clay consuming and spreading onto our Novel Landscape. These forms represent the actual deaths from Covid-19 in Colorado, and white forms will continue to be added to the composition throughout the exhibition as cases continue to rise.
For the Viral Influence exhibition, we would like to grow the work into a site-specific installation using a hallway space that the viewer can walk through. We will continue to add forms to represent the 2nd and 3rd wave of deaths from Covid-19 in Colorado.
We have team taught for the past three years incorporating 2D (printmaking) and 3D (ceramics) at Arapahoe Community College, and hoped for our collaboration that we could teach each other more about our own processes. We began our collaboration right when the pandemic hit our region. Our college, where we both teach was closed, and all access to the tools we were using to create our installation, such as the laser cutter where stopped mid-process.
Since we cannot physically collaborate, we zoom chat about our process. Lisa prints the laser-etched acrylic plates onto paper using her press and she drops them off at Katie's doorstep, where she hand-cuts the paper and attaches them to levels of Styrofoam pieces. Katie uses polymer clay and dress pins, which are baked, in her toaster (no access to kilns) to form individual elements of the virus, which are then pinned onto the forms. Our initial color palette was subtle using black, graphite, silver and white. A shift in our color choices, to red, pink and green occurred due to the rapid spread of the virus as observed on the global map. The final phase of our collaborative process was arranging the forms to create an overall composition for the first time together at the Arvada Center.
We would like to continue the development of this work as Covid cases continue to rise in Colorado, and create an accurate map of these deaths to memorialize the people and families that have been directly impacted by the pandemic. We are proposing the use of one of the hallway spaces in the main gallery, so viewers can walk through the Novel Landscape, representing how the spread of the virus encompasses us all.