Fibers Open Studio

Friday night was the Fibers Major Open Studio and both Spencer and Frances’ work was on display for all of to enjoy. Spencer worked with a group to create an installation tube of hand dyed abstract flowers. It ruled. When one is at such an Instagram worthy event, one only wonders when and where the most opportune Selfie moment will reveal itself. Spencer Malinski answers with a  clear and colorful “Here.” This tunnel was so obviously begging for its own hashtag to which Spencer suggested “#falopianflowertube.” Which is perfect. 
#falopianflowertube #fibersopenstudio #talentedfriends 
Frances’ Senior thesis work, “Variations on Change,” was also on display in practically her very own showcased corner of the Fiber’s building taking up three separate walls and captivating each passersby with her multimedia and multi-medium presentation. I have been lucky enough to watch her work  slowly come together in our backyard since the beginning of this school year so to see it on display with such positive responses was just so great. Frances was working the room like nobodies baby and I am very proud of her. Talent oozing errywhere. 
I asked Frances if she minded talking a little bit about her work for the blog and she kindly agreed. 

Hi, Frances. 
Good morning. 

In a few sentences, how would you sum up the concept behind Variations on Change? 
I wish I could write this out. 
Um. It’s about the transitions in life that we have and that sometimes we outgrow those transitions. And  about those places that we choose to be our environments. And how later on, we are more particular with what we want in them. 

Last year you began experimenting with this technique and the use of the pantyhose and grass. How is your current work connected/not connected to that work and what are some of the ways in which you’ve seen your work develop over the last year? 
The pantyhose and grass started off as growth that man could control himself and it has changed to more of a ‘caretaker/nurturer’ idea. Then it’s moved from there into more ‘transition of life.’ 

Would you consider that work part of this same process, but with just further development?
Yeah. 

Your work is vastly different than a lot of your peers in the Fiber’s department. Do you feel like you/your work is a part of that community? 
I don’t feel like my work is necessarily “decorative” and a lot of people are more design related and I don’t feel that way at all– I’m more fine art related. And my work, even in the fine art world, is something that you couldn’t necessarily sell so it’s more– I consider it more installation work. But I am dealing with fibers materials in some regards and texture and composition and color, I guess. 

Do you feel like you’ve found your place there or do you feel like you’ve just found a way to fit it to what you’ve decided to do?
Well, my use of materials is because I want to use those materials– not because I’m a fibers major. I would never define myself as a fibers artist. But I don’t think that majors define you as an artist. It’s just what you choose to learn at that current time in school.
What are your plans with the rest of the year with Variations on Change? 
I’m having a show in three months and so I have a lot of work to do with drawings and written work and a lot more experimenting with weaving that will definitely be a part of the show. And more aspects of chance will come into the work. 

What do you mean by chance? 
Whenever I’m using grass, that’s chance in itself because I can’t control that. I’ll leave more up to the weaving to decide and the grass to have a relationship between itself that I can’t control. 

Do you see yourself continuing the exploration of these mediums after the “completion” of your educational requirements are fulfilled? 
Yes. 

You just want to continue working with it?
Yeah. 

But you don’t have like some sort of grand plan like Oh, one day I want to make an entire house out of pantyhose and grass? 
No. 

Asking someone what their plans are after college could not be a more annoying question so I’ll try and be creative and ask what are five things you are looking forward to after graduating this Spring?
I am excited to have a job in the museum world hopefully. I am excited to own my own loom– go home and weave after work. And I am excited to live in Dallas and try and be better about– not be better, but join the artistic community. Because Savannah has just been a body of students and it doesn’t have any sort of art scene. 

Awesome. Thanks, Frances. 
PS- it’s been a while since I’ve posted links to Frances’ website and blog but if you are interested in checking out more of her work (which, I would highly recommend you doing) her website is www.francesrussellart.com (the first three boxes on the top of the “Work” page are some of the works we discussed in the interview) and her blog is, of course, www.themuteturnip.blogspot.com where she posts not only about her own art, but inspiration coming from fellow artists. 

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