being green catalyst divine bovines pinned needles and pins stirred not shaken obsession/ minimal pop swell / snacks cloaked exhibition listing

Needles and Pins

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California; curated by Arnold Kemp
March 14 - May 31, 1998

I began working with pins on styrofoam about five years ago for a number of reasons. I trained as a painter but was experimenting with other materials when I stumbled upon some industrial styrofoam. At first I used it as a canvas, attaching fabrics to it and the best way to adhere the fabrics to the material was by using pins. It didn't take long for me to unmask the styrofoam and start using the exposed material by itself. This material addresses many of the ideas I am interested in and does it in very subtle yet powerful ways. Styrofoam is commonly used as housing insulation to protect ourselves from the elements. I am interested in playing with notions of safety by sticking pins into it and putting what is usually inside of the wall, outside.

needles and pins installation
circles (rings)

The materials themselves attracted me formally - the insulation for its texture and its color, blue and pink - its gender associations, and for the industrial text that is marked on it. The pins I like to use for their shiny, glittery glistening qualities, for their ties to women's work and for their abilities to prick or pin down cetain words, phrases, ideas. I enjoy breaking things down into their inherent qualities in order to build something new out of them, to see common materials in different ways, loading the lightweight with meaning. pinned - In my most recent work, I have moved from blue styrofoam to pink and moved from the wall into three dimensions. Pinned is an installation of foam insulation objects resembling animals, rocks, and shapes which are meticulously punctured by silver sewing pins. These pink, nonfurry totems engage in a visual language which is armored but not dangerous, beautifully absurd. The various groupings of pink foam shapes converge to form patterns and designs which are poignant, funny, and frightfully serious. pinstractions

supernova (detail)

This body of work came out of the pinsulation piece. I had created smaller squares within the larger pinsulation square and I became interested in making geometric shapes/designs in those boxes in an undulating pattern. In pinstractions, I decided to explore those ideas further and blew up the smaller boxes into 12" x 12" squares. I then used the steel pins as drawing implements, transforming the rigid materials into organic abstract forms and grids, playing with the surface heights like I did in pinsulation.

waves (low frequency) (detail)
target (bullseye) reject (bitmap) (detail)