The fifth installment of NMWA’s Women to Watch exhibition series, Heavy Metal, is presented by the museum and participating national and international outreach committees. The exhibition showcases contemporary artists working in metal, including those who create sculpture, jewelry, and conceptual forms. Heavy Metal engages with the fluidity between “fine” art, design, and craft, whose traditional definitions are rooted in gender discrimination.
1. What do you like best about working with metal?
Metal allows you to do almost anything if you know how to work with it. I love that it is an industrial material that I can transform into objects, sculptures, and installations that seem organic and that can be viewed as a different material. That creates a sense of mystery that is important in art.
2. How do your works on view in Heavy Metal fit into your larger body of work?
The pieces chosen for Heavy Metal are from the series of my work called “Landscapes.” In this series I explore two-dimensional space with sculptural elements that I use in my other works. I create different layers by incorporating the painted background and the directional lines that I use to create my compositions on the wall. My works tell a story that can be interpreted in different ways by the viewer.
3. As an artist, what is your most essential tool? Why?
My most essential tools are my brain and my heart. Materials and tools are secondary if you don’t have your heart and your brain to process and to express yourself.
4. Who or what are your sources of inspiration and influence?
I draw influence from everyday life, my personal experiences, and my search for balance between opposites. I look for answers about why we are here, what are we made of, how the universe works, and how we interact with each other.
5. What is the last exhibition you saw that you had a strong reaction to?
William Kentridge’s More Sweetly Play the Dance impacted me because of his use of repetition. Through layering drawing, movement, and music, Kentridge conveys that migration, illness, and death are inevitable, but humans continue to hope despite it all.