Thursday, December 8, 2011

SPACE JUNK: Interview & Sneak Peek with Mallory Anita Lawson

I had the pleasure of interviewing one of our next featured artists, Mallory Anita Lawson, to talk about her upcoming show SPACE JUNK. The show opens tomorrow at our Northern Liberties location and will also feature new works from Victoria Marion May. Mallory is an artist currently living and working in Philadelphia. SPACE JUNK will feature a new body of work that came from the physcial and iconographic concept of space.
The beginning stages of tie dying the raw linen.

As a recent Moore graduate, how has your work evolved since your Senior Show at Moore in comparison to your upcoming show, Space Junk, at Arcadia?

Since graduation I’ve tried to move away from traditional ideasof painting. I’m interested in the painting more as an object. I’ve been experimenting with dying, quilting, and building! I actually didn’t even pick up a paintbrush for this show!

Tie dyed linen drying before applying to stretchers. 

A lot of your work from your undergrad career shows a relationship to maps, roads and landscape. Can you tell me a little about what this means to you? Will we see this theme in your upcoming show?

My work for my senior thesis was based around neighborhoods andcommunities and how they evolve over time. Growing up in one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas of the country- a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina, I spent much of my youth surrounded byconstant new construction. I have a nostalgic attachment to stripmalls, highways, housing subdivisions, business parks, and back roads. I wanted to explore the phenomena of living life in suburban America. I am fascinated by the generic quality of life, commercial sprawl, andmass traffic. I wanted to create a visual language that illuminates a sprawling movement as well as the tension between the city, the suburb and natural undeveloped landscape. BUT… you will not be seeing this theme in SPACE JUNK. For the time being, I am moving away from this concept. I want to explore new concepts and mediums.

Mollie dog guarding the neon painted stretcher frames.

Is there a specific theme you are focusing on for you upcoming showat Arcadia?

The theme for SPACE JUNK was surprisingly… space! Since Victoria and I are currently working on such different types of work, it was fun to pick a theme that can be interpreted in so many different ways. I was thinking about space in two different ways. First, the way an object can occupy a physical space, the negative space, and the internal space. I wanted to expose the structure of the object, giving insight into a space that the viewer doesn’t often see. Second, the iconographic image of space, the images that comes up when you “google” space. That is where the tie dying came in; I feel like the dark, deep blue tie-dyes are reminiscent of galaxies and solarsystems.

Sewing together the raw linen & mesh.

What type of work should we expect to see? Painting, printmaking, screen-printing, sculpture?

I tie dyed raw linen and then quilted it with gray and blackmesh. I stretched the “quilts” over neon painted stretcher frames! I guess it’s a hybrid between painting and sculpture.

Stretching the "quilts" over the neon stretchers.

I know you have worked in jewelry design, graphic design, window installations, etc (you are very talented at all of them ;) ). Do you see yourself pursuing one of these art forms more closely in the near future? Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?

Thank you! Over the past year I have developed a strong interest in creating physical environments for objects to belong, whether the objects are works of art or clothing. And this is something I definitely want to pursue. I love how constructed environments can completely transform objects, they can take the viewer to another world, and I think that is my absolute favorite thing about creating art. I have no upcoming projects in the near future but I have been throwing around the idea around of making jewelry and accessories again!

Thanks for giving us a first look Mal!

Can't wait to see you all tomorrow night!


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