The class assignment, “Finding a Form” served as my formal introduction to the foundations of conceptual art. Being that I had no previous experience with creating works, I approached the first part of the assignment, where we had to procure evidence for our creations, with an heir of confusion and in my lack of knowledge, created a situation for myself lacking the physical evidence and resources that would make for a clearer and better understood project surrounding the notion of form. When looking for evidence, what attracted me most, was using material from the natural environment, such as leaves and flowers, and using man made materials such as twine and colored tissue paper to inform my purpose. What I decided on using as my evidence was twine string which I had on hand, tissue paper, and various handpicked foliage; leaves, twigs, and flowers.
As I began to find a meaning and purpose surrounding the materials I’d prepared, I saw a power in creating a link between the organic world and the manmade. In this, I saw my form as one displaying a connection between artificial and natural materials. In my decision to connect fragmented sticks and leaves with one another with twine came a sense of clarity surrounding my intention with the piece. This form, allowing me to make the most out of the little evidence which I had procured.
Throughout the first few weeks of conceptual art, I realized that I only ever displayed my projects in front of a blank background and hadn’t yet used location or an alternate framing as a tool to inform the meaning behind my pieces. In my second form, I created a garland that lay on a cement staircase. In that configuration I found the power in using placement as a way to create movement and create associations within my form and found this form to be the most gratifying. Within my process I found similarities in aspects of my work and that of the artist Charlene Modena. In her work, Modena creates jewelry out of fine metals, paper, and gemstones to create statement pieces about the environment and natural world. In her piece, “Endangered Dreams” she created a ring out of used paper material, pearls, and gold to create a work depicting the beauty within wearable art and personal reflection.
In my final form I decided to disconnect what was once connected and breakdown the elements of my piece into their original states. I displayed each piece of evidence to replicate how they looked when I first found them. In this, I reversed the process of labor which I dedicated myself to and untied every twig and piece of twine I connected to once again, display the power of separation.
Conceptual art is in no way an easy art form to master. The intention and attention to detail that it requires is an incredible skill to acquire and practice successfully, and in that process I’ve finally begun to find my voice within it. Conceptual art is the world of nuance, and I continue to learn what it’s form means to me.