Above : Collagraph Print and Objects from 'Fronts' at Brookhaven College - Farmers Branch, Texas


Too many of us know that making art can sometimes be the first thing to fall under pressure of a busy schedule. In those moments, Steven and I are lucky for the accountability that comes with being married to an artist – someone to chase us back into the studio, to force collaboration when the circuitous nature of solitary making takes a downward spiral.

 

Our previous artistic entanglements combined the monolithic with the infinitesimal, the blusterous with the soft-spoken, the mythical with the painfully real. Steven drags in his ongoing tussle with the psychologically charged Midwestern landscape, vast but not sublime in its oppression. While my contribution is a desire to grieve well, to internalize what has been lost into jewelry and objects to be worn and carried into the relentlessly moving world, reminders that we are still growing, that all has not stopped, and there is still much room for good.

 

With this past in mind, our next synthesis of materials and feeling endeavors to bisect the heavy rage of loss and the quiet excitement of newness; that newness being the exclusively happy contribution of our still quite novel little boy. Already, as parents we both see changes in our work, new colors, surprising forms, a lightness of intention only available through a melting of fear.

Left: We Carry Volumes - All These Empty Pages . viii : Kathleen Janvier

So far, the work itself has evolved from jewelry, to objects, to prints, to collagraph prints of objects, to installations, and back again. We have worked separately to create individual pieces that speak to one another in pairs and groupings. And we have tied our studios together, building singular pieces despite the exchange of opposing wills. This new work promises a similar method of creation, with a few lingering hard-won lessons.

 

Lately, in soft contrast to that Midwestern oppression, my husband’s studio has filled with line etchings of rolling landscapes and wide-mouthed tornadoes overtaken with lighthearted storm clusters of multicelled chrystalline color fields. At least, that’s how I view them. Meanwhile, my last body of work depended heavily on the quick modeling of wax and slow growth of metallic layers through electroforming. Fortunately, this equipment has not been available to me for some time (change is sometimes better thrust upon us), and so I have been pressed to find a new translation for these still-evolving thoughts. Incredibly, as if in direct answer, I recently received a complete collection of donated stone cutting tools, equipment, even the stones themselves, everything I need to begin a new obsession. But with no appropriate space to house and operate this machinery, I remain desperate to begin practicing this new alphabet of solid forms.       Above: Dropping Back Away from Self - Steven Foutch

 

Over the next year, Steven and I will work independently and together toward a collaborative exhibition still taking shape in our minds amidst the excitement and drudgery of the every day, the exceptional newness and difficulty of parenting. Thank you for reading along and sharing your stories. We’d love to know when we’ve struck a parallel chord… or completely run off the rails.

 

For a more formal introduction to us and our work, please visit our websites :

Kathleen Janvier – kathleenjanvier.com

Steven Foutch – stevenfoutch.com

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