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Academic Level at Time of Creation
Date of Creation
Human beings are creatures of habit and familiarity. Automatic movements, speech patterns, and daily activities often develop to a point where they can go unnoticed by the person performing them. Habitual patterns can develop and change as subtly or drastically as we can; they can be as freeing or as obstructive as we allow. Habitual activity can become an important comfort, but can also lead to a reality full of restrictions and anxieties that can halt growth, rather than inspiring it.
My work focuses on the study of how habit and comfort through habitual pattern can affect daily life. I use imagery and materials associated with comfort and flexibility – largely handmade fabrics – and juxtapose them with metal forms to create pieces that challenge the expected nature of these materials. The surface qualities of the pieces reflect the act of automatic movement through the act of making. A swath of handmade fabric is a visual representation of the time put in to learn how to hold the material and manipulate it continuously into something greater than it was before, not unlike the act of shaping and sanding the surface of metal to make it perfectly smooth, or the act of engraving with a chisel and hundreds of hammer strokes. The making becomes a recognizable pattern of movement that is at once therapeutic and comfortable, but also runs the risk of becoming monotonous or even painful if done long enough without a change of position or a break. The tedious nature of the process then informs the concept of the therapeutic nature of habit while also pointing out the potential risks of holding oneself to an inflexible schedule with no potential change.
Insect and nature imagery occasionally take place in my work, as the cyclic metamorphosis seen in animals and our environment can serve as an interesting dialogue for the similar changes noticed in human behavior. Growing out of certain norms as one moves through life allows for reflection of who we once were as we are reminded of the habits we might have once had. This examination of one’s own past can be used to piece together a timeline of daily living patterns that became phased out or inconvenient, shaping an individual through the abandonment of actions that may have been hindering personal growth. As such, we can find that who we once were is as different from our present selves as a caterpillar is to a butterfly. Should we try to recreate our old selves, those restrictions would be significantly more noticeable than they once were.
Extended introspection that comes with transitioning into adult life allowed me to see how my own habitual nature was hindering personal growth. While I still struggle with my self-imposed obstructions, being aware of them has allowed for exploration of myself and how to become more well-informed of what is needed to be successful while still having manageable living patterns. I want my work to inspire viewers to consider their own habits and how those may inhibit their ability to interact with new experiences and opportunities, and potentially begin the process of overcoming those should they deem it necessary.
Jeanne Beaver, T. Michael Martin
Hidden Restrictions: merino blend sock yarn, bronze, 6.5”x5”x .75”
Behind the Veil: sterling silver, enameled copper, opal, steel wire, 2.5”x2.5”
Phases of Revelation: plywood, plaster, modified hinges, aluminum, drawer handle, Styrofoam, 31”x27”x29”
Freedom of the Mind: crochet thread, wasp bodies, bronze, sterling, 13.5”x1.5”
Experiential Layering: screenprinting, size variable, single square approximately 8”x 8”
Self-Reflection: drypoint print, 9.5”x 11”
Growth in Uncertainty: etching, snakeskin, 17.5x 15”
Through Drastic Change…: relief cut print, 14.5”x 8.5”
…We Become More Than We Were:color relief print, 8.5”x 6.5”
Sacks: yarn, powdered fiber slime, McDonalds cups, size variable
Untitled: cheesecloth, yarn, steel plate, candles, paraffin wax, size variable
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Goodlett, Alaina, "Professional Practice Class" (2018). Professional Practices (ART 399). 41.