Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Miles Conrad - "Wax & Wane" - Encaustic in the Summer
Bound, wrapped and dipped in wax, the perception of the objects in Conrad’s installation fluctuate between their organic and synthetic sources. Inspired by Conrad’s workshop at the 2008 Montserrat College of Art Encaustic Conference, "Off the Wall: Encaustic in 3D," this piece involves coating found objects such as cactus thorns, twigs, cardboard and rubber globes in wax and forming them into orbs, where they serve as abstract representations of natural forms.
In this version of the concept, Conrad and Conference Director Joanne Mattera were inspired to incorporate the effects of the sun and heat on these wax-covered objects. Exposed to direct sunlight and the high temperatures of the storefront window, the forms will collapse and transform. “With so much focus by the contemporary encaustic community on the preservation and the archival quality of the material,” Conrad explains, “the concept was to offer an exhibit that celebrates the medium’s fragility and temporarily”.
Conrad describes his studio practice as combining encaustic, found objects and mundane materials to create biomorphic abstractions; encouraged by studying source images from the fields of biology, immunology and pathology. Through his interest in the biological and the natural world, Conrad discovered another layer of meaning to the installation in its reference to the effect of global warming and a changing planet.
Much of encaustic’s most exciting origins were based in artists relinquishing control to the wax itself, a material that would dry and take shape before one could recreate it. Conrad has offered this authority not only to the material, but to the affects of the natural world; allowing his piece to be created and recreated by it’s surroundings.
Posted by Frame 301 at 8:04 AM