Studio Visit: S. Nicole Lane

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S. Nicole Lane is an artist living and working in Chicago.  Her work can be seen in PLEAT's October 2017 exhibition as well as  http://livelaughpeg.club.

Please describe your work.
My work is driven by my interest in the body, flesh, sexuality, and creating non-binary forms. I want for my pieces to display something that appears to be somewhat familiar, but estranged from solid factual anatomy. Looking at an ear canal is where I may begin my research for a piece and ending in a myriad of folds is where it may end. 

I want for my work to center on the skin, and natural structures, while playing around with the absurdity of the human form and sexuality. 

What internal and external factors motivate your conceptual choices? 
My work is influenced by my actual "work," as in my paying job as a journalist. I'm not sure what came first, writing or art, but both are inexplicably intertwined. My career as a health and sex journalist influences my curiosity towards shapes and the interior components of our body's, mostly bodies with a cervix. 

Struggling with my own personal health problems, I engage most of my thought processes, anxiety's, and mentality around my shell, my skin, and my figure. Because of the constant desire to understand my condition, I respond to the dissatisfaction by creating slick, artificial parts that hold no purpose in the larger scope of the human body. 

I want to create pieces that are playful and repulsive — sick and restored. 

Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them? 
Everything Eva Hesse. John Coplans and his self-portraits as an aging man — so influential to me as an artist! Francesca Woodman's work and life are still close to my heart as it explores and expands on the body. 

Others include: Louise Bourgeois, Ana Mendieta, Agnes Martin, the Viennese Actionists. 

How has social media affected your social practice?
For a few years, I would obsessively check Tumblr and compare my work to others. It became a such a problem that I would spend most of my time scrolling on my computer rather than working on my practice. After some effort, I decided to remove myself from that form of online networking and disconnect myself from comparison. However, I find Instagram such a fun and positive space to share work and find artists who you can connect with on a visual level. I've found out about art galleries, residencies, collectives, and fellow artists through the platform. 

I think it's important for us to connect across the world or even in our own city.

Studio Visit: Susan Carr

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Susan Carr is an artist living and working in Massachusetts.  Her work can be seen in PLEAT's September 2017 exhibition as well as instagram.com/susancarr88

Please describe your work. 
My work is about the hunt for understanding.  One of my favorite songs is by Bjork "Hunter" and it speaks to me very deeply. I am actually hunting myself, I imagine smelling the images that I can barely see or understand that are about me, that complete me and my life will be about this and only this really when I get down to the bone of it.  My children are always with me their spirits are always with me.  I had a son who died a year and a half ago and this need for hunting has become very strong. When I work I am with him in a strange way and I am a child as well.  It is elusive because when you think you know exactly what you are doing your practice slips away and the sheer physicality of it comes back the need to hunt, to draw, to sculpt, to speak to the other that is within ones one soul.

What internal and external factors motivate your conceptual choices? 
My choices are determined by what I have around sometimes.  I never thought I would use spray paint.  I never thought I would use clay and I am making clay figures now.  I was a photographer at one point using a medium format Zenza Bronica in a wet dark room.  I use my iPhone now.  I am making sculptures using a jig saw. These are all hunting expeditions. I will use anything to make art and I like the idea of pushing myself farther out into deep waters.  Into the unknown is a place I like because for me it is full of possibility. 

Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them? 
My influences?  First off the women that raised me were full of determination even if I did not get the care I needed at times I can say the women in my home lived their own lives.  I was so surprised at how some girls lived because I was raised so differently. There was never an overt you can do anything even though you are a girl but it was in the air.  I look at thousands of painters sculptors installation artists photographers film makers everyone so great.  Who made me the person I am though?  I guess Louise Bourgeous, Phillip Guston, Mike Kelly, Ana Mendieta they are all so important to me for different reasons I just resonate with their work and think about them a lot. 

How has social media affected your studio practice?
Social Media has really changed the game for artists.  I remember sending slides in to calls.  Going weekly to galleries in Boston I liked so they could see my face and remember it.  Honestly it was such a drag.  I enjoy looking at other people’s work, I can see what is happening in Norway in the ceramic community or Irelands young new painters or England It feels really freeing.  I can imagine myself being there someday.  I have friends on FB and IG that I really appreciate.  I know their work have seen them change over time it is really wonderful.  Social media has its you know bad stuff but I really like the idea of putting something out there and seeing what people think.  I love looking at the work in my feed.  Constant studio visits bring them on!  As artists we need visibility and we need each other.  I am so grateful to the friends I have made because of social media.