This semester has been a busy one for certain. I always have a harder time in the fall with making solid work than any other time. I don't know why that is, seasonal art depression?-maybe. I feel like I'm under producing but I'm starting to work through some problems I had towards the beginning of the semester.
Working in Ashley's lab is very exciting. I even have a set of keys to joint. It comes with a lot of work and time though.
I finished my first experiment (with guidance from Ashley) but I managed to do most of everything on my own. I wanted to learn how to clear and stain specimens. Brandon Ballengee (faculty member I worked with while at SVAs artist residency this summer-and mentioned in earlier posts) often uses this techinque in his work. It creates stunning visuals. It also allows me to view a specimen in a different light, investigating the interior body and skeleton on a level not previously experienced. I was able to start the protocol from beginning to end. First, with amputating limbs from axolotls to completion of storage in glycerin. The entire process took a week. Although if my schedule wasn't as hectic as it normally is, the experiment may have been shorter. Alas, graduate school isn't so kind to my lab hours.
One thing I've been struggling with this semester is getting caught up in what the work should look like. I'm trying to please two different departments and myself. Should the art look like science? Should the science look like art? What about the concepts-art vs. science? I say that I'm still struggling with the "art product" but I'm trying to be less concerned about those catches and focus more on what the work needs to be to please me. So far this semester, I've not been too pleased with anything I've made. Regardless, all those failures are important to the process.
I am a contemporary artist focused on the intersection of art and science in Lexington, KY.