Thursday, December 15, 2016

Michelle Henning, Student Work, Map Relief

This segmented map relief records the layout of my childhood home as I remember it at the age of four. The map is essentially a memory space: the pieces fit together but are displayed with space between, almost as if the rooms are floating, threatening to drift away at any moment. Each piece I included in the map of my house correlates with a specific memory in the house. The childhood-crafty nature of the pieces is also related to the idea of a childhood memory; the crafting is child-like, with simple materials and shapes reflecting the boiled-down nature of my memories from that young age. 

My process began with a simple exercise to draw my childhood home with my eyes shut. I was surprised at the results of this activity because what I thought in my mind was going to be a huge, page-spanning drawing turned out to take up only one half of the page. While drawing with my eyes closed the memories of the space in my house were so spacious and the house seemed so large, yet the reality was that the lines came out repetitive, tightly-spaced, with an almost frantic appeal. I am attracted to the way the chaotic squirmy lines fill the corner of the page and decided to explore the idea of a memory space further in the actual map relief. The number I chose to associate and utilize in the map is the number 4 because that is the age I moved into the house I have mapped out, there are four members in my family (meaning four kitchen seats, four places, etc.), and four was my favorite number for the majority of my childhood. 

To make the foam board look less like foam board I gave a lot of treatment to the surface of the boards, taking a lot of time to think of ways to represent the unique floorings of each room in the house. When I was younger I spent a lot of time sitting and laying on the floors so I got to them extremely well. Therefore, the flooring of my memory house is very detailed.

To accentuate the cracks and grains of the wood flooring I brushed on some watered-down ink to the paper strips.

The swirly flooring of the utility room reflects the swirls of glues that are put down to hold down carpeting. My dad did a lot of remodeling work in the house and much of the time the floor was bare concrete with the swirls of glue hinting at the previous existence of carpet. This is very similar to how it looked.

No comments:

Post a Comment